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Using emotional intelligence to improve the recruitment process

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

We often talk about emotional intelligence in terms of how important it is for leadership coaching and management roles, but of course it impacts on people throughout an organisation. Everyone needs to work together, communicate well, and occasionally cope with pressure or challenges which impact on how they feel. Considering emotional skills and each individual's capacity to meet emotional challenges can help you find better candidates, who will fit into all of the demands of any given job.

Over the last decade more and more company leaders and CEOs, including a survey of the World Economic Forum, have increasingly highlighted emotional intelligence as the missing core skill that should be assessed in recruitment processes alongside qualifications, work experience and employment skills.

And this makes sense; even the most well qualified candidate may have a mindset or attitude which just doesn't fit with the specific demands of the job or the company culture; they may look great “on paper”, but in practice they underperform or quickly leave the company because they don't fit in.

Establishing an emotional intelligence framework within your recruitment process through expert consultation or business coaching can help you identify the candidates who will fit into the job, the team, and the wider company.

Integrating emotional intelligence frameworks and testing in your recruiting

Properly integrating EI or EQ testing into your recruitment should start with the HR team and how they advertise roles. Great job vacancy adverts explain the not just the daily tasks for a role, but also the emotional challenges and needs; is team work important? Communicating directly with customers? Are there pressures like deadlines and responsibilities, or rapidly changing challenges and demands?

The extra detail will immediately improve the suitability of applicants, but also provides a information in how candidates have responded to those challenges in their applications; allowing an assessment of emotional skills from the first stage or shortlisting for interviews.

Shortlisted candidates can complete a more detailed EI questionnaire, tuned specifically for the role if necessary, as part of the interviewing process. This allows detailed scoring of the ten primary emotional competencies, allowing you to much better understand the candidate's general attitude, style of learning, coping skills, motivation, and commitment.

Support and consultation for commercial recruiters and HR departments

Without some guidance, EI scoring can overwhelm you with information, so developing an emotional intelligence testing framework with the support of an expert consultant, or through a process of recruitment team coaching, helps keep the processed focused, efficient and effective.

At Legacy Coaching in Northern Ireland we provide recruiters with a range of support services, putting together a variety of reports on potential candidates abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and how well they meet the demands of the job.

We aim to make the constant recruitment challenge of finding truly exceptional candidates that much easier with emotional insights that go beyond qualifications, grades and experience gained in completely different companies. The more demanding the job and responsibilities of a role, the more important emotional assessment becomes, and with our extensive experience of leadership coaching we can really help you identify the truly exceptional recruitment candidates even amongst a perfectly qualified crowd.

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