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Using Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

Using Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

As a species the human race likes to pass judgement rather quickly and in a recruitment scenario this is no different. Throughout the journey a hiring manager may well be subjected to discrete tactics, whether consciously or not, that help to formulate an opinion on a specific candidate. An awareness of this is important to ensure that recruitment is undertaken efficiently, ultimately with the company’s future success in mind.

What is emotional intelligence?

As we’ve explored before emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to identify and control their own emotions and those of other people around them. In an interview scenario it can become evident fairly quickly when emotional intelligence is being used to build rapport or manipulate other characteristics of the situation for the betterment of the candidate. The risk of course is that for hiring managers, recruitment decisions may then be made based upon how a candidate made you feel as opposed to their ability to do the job.

How can recruiters improve their knowledge of emotional intelligence?

An understanding of what emotional intelligence is, and that it can be increased, is a great start point for anyone working within recruitment. Significant amounts of research show that an individual’s level of emotional intelligence can be increased. By having an awareness of your own thoughts on a candidate decision making can become more objective.

How will an understanding of emotional intelligence help the recruitment process?

Now that you are aware of what emotional intelligence is and how it can influence your decision making capability you can start to design recruitment processes that enable you to hire the best candidates. Rather than making decisions based on gut feelings about a personality, your decisions can be based on scientific evidence that a person can do the job well.

A keen awareness of the company cultures, subcultures and strategic goals from an organisational and departmental level will help formulate the talent strategy. For instance, if the business has a highly competitive environment with a robust approach to sales then it may be suited towards certain character traits than others. This knowledge can help to formulate the competencies you look for in a hiring process and aspects of the strategy can be geared towards this. By seeking a demonstration of competencies in your interview you are providing a platform where candidates are less likely to be judged with bias.

Another way to ensure that bias due to emotional intelligence does not creep in is to include the use of psychometrics in your recruitment. Psychometrics are proven to deliver higher success rates in recruitment than a basic hiring process.

Final Thoughts

Whichever way you choose to recruit moving forward, by being aware that emotional intelligence can play a significant role is a start point. The ability of someone to tell a great story that appeals to emotions does not necessarily provide them with the evidence needed to be the right person for the company, its culture and the role. An awareness of this will help you to ensure recruitment errors are reduced.