Recruiting for Emotional Intelligence

A few years ago I fell upon the subject of Emotional Intelligence (EI) so I decided to investigate further. The more I read, the more sense it made, especially as I could fully relate to personal experiences of leaders that I had worked for, that I could pinpoint as having a high Emotional Intelligence.

Definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Emotional Intelligence is defined as one’s ability to regulate one’s emotions based on the specific current situation. It includes aspects such as one’s ability to manage relationships, manage oneself and have social awareness and perhaps most importantly, self-awareness.

It is certainly a key trait of successful leaders and it is getting much more attention in the business world, however it is very rarely considered an area that is comprehensively covered at interview. Companies will test for personality and mental ability for example however not for Emotional Intelligence.

Benefits of EI

Given that individuals with high EI are said to be less stressed, healthier, more productive, have better relationships and have a higher overall level of job satisfaction, I believe it is something more companies could be embracing.

Measuring EI

The most common ways to measure EI is through written tests and assessment centre exercises. There are companies offering online tests which can be implemented however the accuracy can be impacted by candidates answering questions in a manner they believe will show them in the best light, rather than what they would do, say or think in reality. Assessment centres generally provide a more accurate result, however are more time consuming, costly and generally deemed more appropriate for more senior level roles, which is arguably where you would hope to hire the most Emotionally Intelligent candidates.

Whether a company embraces the testing of EI fully within the recruitment process is no doubt likely to be down to whether there is the will and the resources to do so. However as a minimum it can easily be encompassed within the Competency Based Interview framework to help enhance the talent acquisition process.

Careerz Limited, based in Canterbury, offer specialist recruitment services across Kent, London and the South East.

For further information, please call John Adams on 01227 656 888 or or 0208 0990 888 or visit

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