Emotional Intelligence and it’s importance in Recruitment

There have been many changes in the way that companies and the recruitment industry work, primarily in recent years, using technology to decide whether you are a good applicant for the role. The software sifts through key words, analysing everything it can about your online presence, including your background, through LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media.

I have also seen many companies completing very robust checks on qualifications and achievements, making sure everything that you stated on your CV is accurate and in order. This process also asks that you supply details, in full, of appropriate records and certificates where necessary. Completing this stage is important to ensuring you get to that employment start date.

However, often the most important traits for hiring someone are not necessarily reviewed through online vetting, unless they are looking for specific keywords that you have also used in key places in your social media.  This then leads to the system rejecting your application, sometimes even before the CV acknowledgement ever gets sent out or the applicant closes the page on the application.

So, what are these traits that I see as important in today’s job market – well they are closely linked to Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Over the years I have worked with Leaders helping them develop EQ within their teams as well as supporting their own development of EQ. During this time, I have seen more and more Leaders realise that there is a real need to have a good foundation in Emotional Intelligence in all staff and that it is often preferred over IQ.  Considering this I believe there are some strong areas that individuals can focus on to help their journey to getting a suitable role for themselves. More and more Leaders are recruiting for traits like these and at least, as a starting point for gauging someone’s strengths generally.

  1. Empathy – being empathic and showing you care is an amazing characteristic in today’s world. Many people have it and it shouldn’t be demeaned in any way. People who are empathetic often give out positive energy and attract others, meaning relationship building and customer service are often areas this person will excel in. They will consider their customers’ needs, their colleagues’ challenges, and support where possible. Our empathetic friends at home are often there to listen and support always but one hugely important point about the positive aspects of empathetic people in the business world, is that they won’t always agree with you on issues. They will, however, listen, empathise, ask questions, and try to ensure that they understand, bringing a realism to the workplace. That is how you build a team that performs at a higher level.
  2. Resilience – We live in a world of change, that is our constant. As we traverse these, sometimes difficult slopes, we absolutely must keep our eye on the skyline and manage the process. Resilient people do that well, they don’t get side-tracked by the howling winds and never gaze over the precipice, they steer, support, and guide the group through the often many challenges.
  3. Self-Management – Having the ability to regulate your emotions is so important, being consistent, understanding how you will react in situations at work before they happen is a powerful trait. Using your emotions like this to manage relationships brilliantly, make decisions in stressful scenarios and manage your own thoughts, optimism, or stress. Learning this is one of the foundations of Emotional Intelligence.
  4. Flexibility – Having the ability to deal with change, uncertainty and sometimes chaos with a flexibility of approach and determination is a sign of very good Emotional Intelligence. Being ready for anything and willing to do what is necessary to get the job done, support the customer through the challenge or save your teammate from falling at the right time shows an ability to adapt.
  5. Communication – Speaking, calling, or using video chat, slideshows or just having 121 meetings, being able to communicate clearly is an underplayed skill. Reading the moment and knowing the right way to respond, or put people at ease, even challenge positively, makes communication an area that most people can improve on. As a Leader, informal or not, being transparent must be your norm, it is amazing to those around you. Bringing a real authenticity to your communication that enhances the perception of you as someone who is open, honest, has integrity and can be trusted.

Emotional Intelligence is much broader than the above, but these are all key areas to focus on and show when looking for a role. If you are a Leader looking to employ more people, this is also a great reminder of some of the key traits to look for. Whether you are looking for a new role or hiring new people I am happy to chat through and support you develop your Emotional Intelligence to support you drive to succeed. So, get in touch and let’s talk.

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