• Nadia Hirschi

Why Should You Care About Emotional Intelligence When Recruiting New Employees?

Updated: Sep 5

It's no secret that emotional intelligence is a valuable asset for any company. After all, the best companies are those that can harness the power of emotions to create a positive work environment and achieve their goals. But what about when it comes to recruitment? Is emotional intelligence something you should be looking for in candidates? The answer is yes - here's why.

What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why Is It Important?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a term first coined in the early 1990s by psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer. It refers to a person's ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions. EI is considered one of the most important skills a person can have, as it affects not only how we interact with others but also how we think, make decisions, and perform in the workplace.

There are four key areas of emotional intelligence:

1/ Perception:

This involves being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others. This quality allows a trustworthy interpretation of different emotional cues. Therefore, during a meeting or presentation, a person with a good perception of emotions can interpret the feelings of others based on subtle body language or facial expressions.

2/ Understanding:

This means being able to understand why people are feeling the way they are and what caused those emotions. A person with a great understanding of emotions can look at a situation from a different person’s point of view and understand how that person feels about it.


This includes being able to control your emotions, respond effectively to emotions in others, and use emotions to achieve goals. It refers to the employee’s quality of never letting emotions overwhelm him/her. Not their own or that of other people’s. So, they can always take a professional, appropriate, and unbiased approach. No matter how bad the situation is.

4/ Expression:

This refers to the ability to express emotions in an accurate and helpful way.

So why is emotional intelligence so important in the workplace? Well, research has shown that people with high EI are more successful than those with low EI. They are more likely to be promoted and receive pay raises, and they are also less likely to leave their jobs. In fact, one study found that the cause for customer and client loss is 70% EI-related.

And what about recruiting? During interviews, the recruiting managers often focus on just two things. Professional skills and educational background. As a result, they sometimes add brilliant but toxic people during staffing. And despite all their talent and brilliance, these employees eventually hinder the growth and performance of the company.

Therefore, it's essential to judge the emotional abilities of a person before adding them to your organization. And the most scientific way to do this is by measuring their emotional intelligence during the recruitment process and this topic will be discussed later in this article.

How Can Emotional Intelligence Benefit a Company?

There are a number of ways in which emotional intelligence can benefit a company. Here are just a few:

A/ EI helps create a positive work environment.

People with high EI are able to manage their emotions effectively and create a positive atmosphere for themselves and others. This is important, as a positive work environment is linked to lower stress levels, decreased absenteeism, and higher productivity.

B/ Emotional Intelligence helps people communicate effectively.

People with high EI are good listeners, and they understand the emotions behind words. This means they can communicate more effectively with others, both verbally and nonverbally.

C/ EI contributes to problem-solving.

People with high EI can think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems. They are also better at handling stress and adversity, which can help them stay focused during difficult times.

D/ EI facilitates giving and receiving feedback in a team/company.

Every manager knows the frustration of employees taking criticisms too personally. Employees low on EQ and high on ego will oftentimes fail to identify their fault. Plus, when you express your dissatisfaction with their performance, they wouldn't be able to empathize with you and further aggravate the unpleasantness. On the other hand, an emotionally intelligent worker always dwells on logic and reason. So, when you are criticizing them for legit reasons, they won’t get angry or defensive. Instead, they would be quick to identify what they are doing wrong and make the necessary corrections.

What Are Some Signs of Emotional Intelligence in Candidates?

So how can you tell if a candidate has high emotional intelligence? Here are some signs to look for:

  • They are good listeners.

  • They can read emotions accurately.

  • They know how to respond to emotions in others.

  • They understand and express their own emotions accurately.

  • They can handle stress and adversity well.

  • They are adaptable and open to change.

  • They are comfortable talking about emotions and use precise vocabulary to describe their feelings.

  • They interact easily with others and demonstrate good social skills when included in a group.

  • They are resilient or have demonstrated resilience in their past.

So if you're looking for a new employee, don't forget to consider emotional intelligence. The benefits of hiring someone with high EI are clear - they will be more successful and productive in the workplace and help create a positive atmosphere for everyone.

How Can You Measure Emotional Intelligence in Candidates?

There are a number of ways to measure emotional intelligence in candidates. Here are a few:

The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) is a self-report questionnaire that measures five areas of emotional intelligence: perception, understanding, management, expression, and General Mood.

The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is an ability test that measures four areas of emotional intelligence: perceiving emotions, reasoning with emotions, using emotions to facilitate thought, and managing emotions.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0) is a self-report questionnaire that measures 13 areas of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, social skills, stress management, adaptability, general mood, optimism, happiness, satisfaction with life, and emotional resiliency.

The Nantys EMCO4 Test is a questionnaire focusing on the recognition, understanding, regulation, and management of emotions in the workplace. This test has been specially tailored to measure the emotional intelligence of someone in a work environment.

What Are Some Tips for Recruiting Emotionally Intelligent Candidates?

When recruiting new employees, it is important to consider emotional intelligence. There are a few tips for recruiting emotionally intelligent candidates:

Look for candidates who have good problem-solving skills:

Emotionally intelligent candidates are good at solving problems. They don't get overwhelmed by difficult situations, and they don't give up easily. They can think logically and come up with solutions.

Look for candidates who are good communicators:

Candidates with high emotional intelligence are good communicators. They know how to listen to others, and they understand their feelings. They can express themselves clearly and effectively.

Look for candidates who are good leaders:

Candidates with high emotional intelligence are often good leaders. They know how to motivate others and have a strong sense of empathy. They are able to think strategically and lead their team to success.

Use a recruiting service:

A recruiting service like can help you find candidates with high emotional intelligence. The service provides access to a database of qualified candidates who have been pre-screened for emotional intelligence.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a new employee, don't forget to consider emotional intelligence. The benefits of hiring someone with high EI are clear - they will be more successful and productive in the workplace and help create a positive atmosphere for everyone. So when you're recruiting new candidates, be sure to look for signs of emotional intelligence.