Why I use Emotional Intelligence as a recruitment tool

Emotional intelligence, EI, (also known as Emotional Quotient or EQ) refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers on this subject suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.

Since 1990, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been the leading researchers on emotional intelligence. In their influential article "Emotional Intelligence", they defined EQ as, "the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions" (1990).

At Ellwood Atfield, our assessment of a candidate’s emotional intelligence, when recruiting IC and employee engagement roles, helps inform us and our client as to how the candidate will perform. It can make the difference between finding and retaining a superb candidate for our client or an average one who will move sooner than wanted.

 Indeed, we are hosting an event entitled: Building Great Teams: Do you measure emotional intelligence (EQ) when you recruit and build IC teams? in the Ellwood Atfield gallery on 11 November with a stellar line-up of speakers that will dig deep into the use of EQ and IC recruitment.

In our experience, finding the right candidates for our clients goes far beyond just their experience and qualifications. Once I have tested a candidate’s technical IC ability I focus on finding the right personality that will fit the organisation’s culture.

When I interview candidates, I consciously measure their responses to my questions. I take into account their mannerisms and choice of words as well as how they come across as a person – I suppose you can say that as a recruiter, I am in fact analysing their emotional intelligence.

When taking a brief from a client, I ask detailed questions about the core behaviours their ideal candidate might possess. A mediocre job spec will focus only on the experience, qualifications and responsibilities of the role. A job description that includes a person specification, and the ‘softer skills’ required, is often far more effective in attracting and identifying the right sort of candidates.

As a specialist internal communications and employee engagement recruiter, I take great care in matching a candidate’s personality to the organisation, especially since I assist clients at the highest levels and often the appointed candidate will be engaging with an organisation’s senior leadership team. Naturally, I also take their experience and qualifications into account. It is this practice and attention to detail that result in successful placements and a strong trust being forged between us and our clients.

Julie Skidmore, Head of the Internal Communications Recruitment Practice at Ellwood Atfield. Recruiting the people who talk for you.



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