Test for Emotional Intelligence and Hire Better

Everyone’s looking for the edge in recruiting.  To some, they seek out passive candidates and lure them away from competitors with the promise of high salaries and bonuses.  Some are trying to corner the market socially.  But there’s a little understood way to enhance your quality of hire without having to stalk the competition.  It’s called emotional intelligence, or EQ (short for emotional quotient.)  By testing candidates for their emotional intelligence, recruiters can enhance quality of hire immediately. If your team is looking to hire better, try these tips!

Tips to Hire Better By Focusing on Emotional Intelligence

When you think of the top performers in your organization, what do they have in common?  Author Travis Bradberry claims the top 90% of high performers also possess high levels of emotional intelligence.  He also asserts that emotional intelligence explains 58% of success in the workforce across industries.  It’s clear that these high performers and successful employees have something that others do not.

The traits that these high performers have are many of the most desired traits of employees.  These include leadership, great communication skills, people skills, self awareness, self motivation, and more.  Many job postings list these as prerequisites for a job but outside of some fumbling interview questions, don’t actively test to make sure a candidate possesses any of these traits.  So how does a savvy recruiter test for these traits in order to hire better?

  • Pscyhometric Testing.  Psychometric testing has gained popularity recently as a great predictor of what an employee’s work style might be.  Additionally, it exposes things like capacity for leadership, team building, and commitment to ethics.  This is a great way to start to get to know a candidate.  If you’re looking to hire better with emotional intelligence, this can uncover whether the candidate has any levels of emotional intelligence. Psyometric tests are available in both print and online.  They’re simple questions that can provide big insight in only 20 minutes or less.
  • Video Interviews.  Video interviews are great to view a candidate in the applicant screening process.  Because these interview questions are timed, answers can expose a candidate’s honest reaction to the questions provided.  These recordable interviews also offer a great opportunity for recruiters to view a candidate’s body language and facial cues in the video interview.  If seeing is believing, then video interviews allow recruiters to determine whether a candidate believes in what he or she says. The facial cues and body language displayed offer a more nuanced view of the candidate.
  • Creative Scenario Based Tests.  In interviews, it can be extremely helpful for an interviewer to construct a series of scenario based tests.  These can expose the decision making process behind a candidate’s answer and reveal whether they are self- aware, have a high aptitude or leadership, and more.  Get creative and ask questions based on things that may happen during the course of the work day. Using this suggestion, your team can get to know your candidate better to determine organizational fit.
  • Schedule a Panel Interview.  Panel interviews are great ways to find out how candidates will work with others across the organization.  When those panels are also diverse, they can expose how a candidate may communicate with people outside of his or her age cohort or racial group.  Panels provide a variety of different people’s experience, viewpoints, and judgements into the process.  It could be that a panel member can recognize abilities that are useful and transferable across departments.  If your recruiting team is seeking to uncover emotional intelligence, a panel interview sets the stage to find out.  Schedule a panel interview and see how it can help you to hire better.

When it comes to enhancing your quality of hire, emotional intelligence should be high on the list of what you’re looking for in candidates.  A strong indicator of success, emotional intelligence can be uncovered in a variety of traditional and nontraditional ways.  The extra investment of time is worth it to find out who your next stand out hire could be.

Photo credit: Bigstock

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