Why Employers Should Seek Emotional Intelligence in Candidates

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a highly desirable trait in today’s workplace, which involves managing one’s emotions and those of others. It has gained widespread attention among employers lately as it has been found to have a positive effect on organizational productivity and employee performance. As a leader, it is vital to recognize how EQ can benefit your company’s bottom line and why it should be prioritized when searching for potential candidates.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, explain its advantages for employers, and provide practical guidance on establishing a more emotionally intelligent work culture within your organization.

Introduction to the concept of emotional intelligence and its role in the workplace

EQ is the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions, as well as those of others. Employees with high emotional intelligence are better equipped to handle challenging work environments and build positive relationships.

As a result, organizations have started prioritizing the hiring of emotionally intelligent individuals. This is because they tend to be resilient, empathetic, and possess strong communication skills, which are all highly valued traits in the workplace.


Quick Tip: IQ Vs. EQ

Intelligence is a complex concept that goes beyond IQ scores. While IQ focuses on cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, or EQ, taps into a person’s ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions. In other words, EQ measures how well a person can empathize with others and regulate their own emotions.

Benefits of Leading Teams with High EQ

High EQ individuals are able to handle social situations adeptly, recognize their own emotions and those of others, and communicate effectively. This translates into:

  • Better collaboration and teamwork
  • Improved communication
  • Ability to resolve conflicts effectively
  • Enhanced productivity
  • A boost in overall job satisfaction
  • Able to identify potential conflicts before they escalate

Employers prioritizing EQ will find their workforce more cohesive, motivated, and equipped to tackle the challenges of an increasingly complex work environment.

Developing EQ Within Your Team

Now we understand the significance and advantages of emotional intelligence, how can you implement it in your team?

Firstly, keep in mind that emotional intelligence is not fixed and can be developed over time through training and resources. Here are some specific areas that we recommend focusing on:

1. Self-awareness: Reflect on your feelings and behavior patterns to increase self-awareness.

2. Self-regulation: Manage your emotions in a healthy and effective manner.

3. Empathy: Try to understand others’ perspectives by putting yourself in their shoes.

4. Social skills: Improve your social skills by practicing active listening and effective communication.

By intentionally working on these aspects of emotional intelligence, you can enhance your relationships, better manage stress, and ultimately become a more successful team.


Quick Tip: Addressing Common Misconceptions About EQ

Many people believe that EQ is an innate quality that cannot be improved. However, recent studies have shown that emotional intelligence is actually a set of skills that can be developed with practice.

Additionally, EQ is often misunderstood as being solely related to emotions when, in fact, it encompasses a much broader range of abilities, such as social skills, problem-solving, and self-awareness.


How to Assess Candidates’ EQ During the Hiring Process

Some employers conduct behavioral-based interviews to evaluate how an applicant has handled difficult situations in the past. Others may use personality assessments or role-playing scenarios to observe how candidates react to various interpersonal interactions.

Once candidates join your organization, it can be helpful to include EQ in training programs to promote healthy communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution. This may involve workshops or coaching sessions focusing on key areas such as empathy, self-awareness, active listening, and stress management.


Employers constantly seek ways to differentiate their companies and stand out as top contenders. This is where EQ shines – a concept that goes beyond the traditional notion of IQ and looks at individuals’ ability to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of others.

As we’ve explored throughout this article, businesses that prioritize emotional intelligence in their hiring processes and company culture have seen numerous benefits.

Even with tips for developing emotional intelligence, one may still wonder if it’s worth investing time and resources into this abstract concept. But let’s be clear: having emotionally intelligent employees is not just nice to have – it’s essential for success in today’s workplace.

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