Building Better Teams in 2021: Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

The necessity of an emotionally intelligent team has become more apparent than ever. Your employees are worried about all the things. And you are probably feeling some of the same.

Yet, as the leaders, we solider on. That is why 2021 is the year to build a team with a robust arsenal of soft skills. That starts with hiring for emotional intelligence.

In basic terms, emotional intelligence (EQ) can be understood as: the ability to recognize and vocalize your emotional state as well as judge and appreciate others’ emotions with empathy. Once you grasp these soft skills, you can start implementing them into processes like team building and hiring.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Workplace?

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Without a doubt, the key to successful leadership is emotional intelligence. More than 3,000 studies on emotional intelligence have shown that it contributes to both professional and personal success. Boosting your emotional intelligence is tied to more effective leadership, better decision-making, career success, as well as happiness and relationship satisfaction. 

Building soft skills like emotional intelligence can also save your corporation time and energy. The Work Institute estimated one in four U.S. employees left their jobs in 2018. Nearly 77 percent of that turnover could have been prevented by employers. Another study found when an employee leaves, it costs an average of 6 – 9 months of the former employee’s salary to identify and onboard their replacement.

Hiring for emotional intelligence can build a team with more resilience. Less turnover saves both money and morale.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence seems to be responsible for more than 58% of work performance variability. People who understand and manage their own and others’ emotions make better teammates and leaders. When hiring, look for individuals who aren’t only bright but are also able to engage and answer difficult questions designed to isolate their emotional intelligence. 

At Spot On Talent, we field candidates not only based on their resumes, but their ability to handle stressful situations. We are available at any time to aid in your search to build an emotionally intelligent team. If you plan to search for the team yourself, here are some helpful infographics on what to look for in emotionally intelligent people.

What to Look for when Hiring for EQ

It’s important to focus on the person interviewing and not just their resume. Look for “learn-it-alls” instead of “know-it-alls.” As an employer, you expect to see candidates who are confident in their skills.

But you also want people who aren’t full of themselves and are willing to learn from others. Interviewees who give credit to past coworkers will fit better in a team environment than those who feel independent of the system.

“Look for Learn-it-alls” instead of “know-it-alls.”

To deduce if your interviewee is the right fit for an emotionally intelligent team, you can ask an age-old question. “What is your greatest weakness?” Experienced interviewers know that only a precious few job seekers can identify a true weakness. And even fewer have developed plans to strengthen those weaknesses. To do so takes self-awareness, critical thinking and the emotional intelligence your hiring managers should be looking for.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

What to Avoid When Hiring for EQ

Just as there are qualities to hunt for in potential workers, there are also those you should seek to avoid. The most common personality to watch out for is “the brilliant jerk.” These employees may do an exceptional job delivering competency-based results but typically doesn’t get along well with others.

As the leader for your organization, you have the power to avoid this kind of disruption in your team. High-impact leaders do not tolerate brilliant jerks. They don’t expect perfection. They do expect everyone to utilize their emotional intelligence by positively collaborating with their colleagues. If you impart this workplace culture expectation upon your team and hiring department, you can avoid these kinds of disruptions.

Make 2021 the Year of Emotional Intelligent Hires

The world needs people who can lead with emotional intelligence. Your job as a leader is to improve your own and encourage it within your organization. The EQ of C-suite employees can trickle down and affect an entire organization.

Be the base for your company and build teams that are emotionally intelligent at their core. Or, utilize Spot On Talent to hire your emotionally intelligent teams and step into 2021 with the best foot forward.