Most people are familiar with the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which has been used for decades to evaluate applicants for a certain position. But is technical knowledge the most important skill to look for in a candidate? In the last few years, another trait has held its own when it comes to decisive factors of the hiring process. Emotional intelligence (EQ) has proven to be essential to tell the best talent apart from the crowd.
What is EQ?
When we talk about EQ, we refer to the ability to perceive and evaluate emotions, the way we communicate with other people and our capacity to empathize with them by using our soft skills . Despite technology seeming like the solution to all your problems in the 21st century, keeping some human touch is still essential in recruiting.
Let’s say you have a chatbot that helps you answer the most FAQ and a tool that makes the process of going through CVs easier. Finding the perfect match should be a piece of cake, right? Well, not quite. Narrowing down your candidates based on how they look “on paper” doesn’t automatically mean you’ll hire the “perfect man” for the job, and you could end up with a toxic person that can affect your team’s performance. Remember, some extra humanity can help you make the right choice at the right time.
What are the risks of underappreciating EQ?
Building a trustworthy company and effectively communicating with customers and candidates is key to succeeding in the business world. Not empathizing with the people you’re interviewing might lead to losing valuable candidates in the recruiting process because they can’t relate or feel engaged.
As much as technology has helped develop hundreds of different ways to communicate with other people, face-to-face interaction should not be taken for granted; people still need to bond.
Keep in mind that companies with emotionally intelligent leaders are most likely to have engaged employees, a stronger brand and higher retention rates. Moreover, hiring the wrong person can be extremely expensive and time consuming, two things you don’t want to waste in the corporate world.
Can EQ be learned?
Yes! You can develop it through very easy techniques, such as the 10 second rule that consists on counting to 10 before rushing into saying something you might regret. Another way is by choosing the proper tone to address someone; speaking in a soothing tone to your candidates will make your interlocutors respond accordingly having a relaxed and fluid interview.
Another important advice we cannot stress enough is to keep learning from your mistakes. Most people may not like to admit something went wrong, but no one can deny what a great way to learn it is– great accomplishments are built from failed attempts.
Feedback and criticism are two fundamental words in the recruiting world, so take it with a grain of salt. Being objective and understanding what good can come out of those words can be a great quality.
Finally, before going any further, remember to remain honest and approachable. It is one thing to speak your mind, but it’s a whole different one to be offensive. Learn to stay true to yourself and your values while always respecting others.
What’s the verdict?
Nowadays, technology is a huge tool in the recruiting world. Communications travel at the speed of light and yet, people still don’t feel comfortable when walking into a job interview. Nevertheless, tools like AI can never compete with human interaction in the fields of empathy, sensitivity and connection. Make sure you bond with your candidates and trust your gut, intuition is something that can’t be learned.
Originally published to Neuvoo’s Hiring & Recruiting Blog.