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Why Aren't You Hiring for EQ? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 May 2010 15:42
By Nick Tasler

Question 1: How do you cut your annual employee turnover rate to a mere 15% of what it is currently, and realize a 300-to-1 return on your investment in terms of cost savings?

Question 2: How do you dramatically increase annual sales one sales associate at a time?

The answer to both questions is incorporate emotional intelligence into your employee selection criteria. The bottom-line impact of hiring for emotional intelligence (EQ)—a person’s skill at recognizing and managing his or her own emotions and the emotions of others—is virtually indisputable. The United States Air Force dramatically reduced their annual recruiter turnover rate from 35% to 5%, which translated into savings of $3 million a year when they selected candidates who were high in emotional intelligence. L’Oréal increased sales by $91,370 for every salesperson they hired specifically for his or her EQ skills. Not to mention, the cosmetic industry giant also earned a 63% lower turnover rate on the salespeople hired for their EQ compared to those who weren’t.

Selecting and Retaining the Best Talent

Getting the right people inside the door, or behind the counter, of your organization is now more important than ever. When employees leave, the company pays heavily. Losses in productivity combined with the increased costs of recruiting and selecting new hires packs an especially potent punch to businesses already feeling the pinch of an economic downturn.

But hiring for EQ can be the great neutralizer of today’s free-agent job market. The facts are that people with solid EQ skills simply stick around longer and perform better. They are more able to weather the inevitable storms that arise on the job, and are better able to deal with the difficult people and circumstances they will face. In contrast, people with low EQ skills not only struggle to build good working relationships, but they also taint the working environment for their co-workers and ultimately make the workplace less desirable and less productive.

According to the former director of recruitment and workforce planning for a 10,000-employee organization and co-author of The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book, Jean Greaves, the goal of the interviewer is to “spot the EQ Problem People.” Greaves says the difference between a “good EQ candidate” and a “great EQ candidate” is a manageable one. But hiring a candidate with low EQ is like welcoming a lethal virus into your organization.

Use an emotional intelligence (EQ) test to select candidates for a job, and you’re begging for a lawsuit. Ask any labour lawyer, and he or she will tell you that the use of EQ assessments for selection is a practice that’s highly vulnerable to lawsuits based on mental disability discrimination.

Structured, behavioral-based interviews, on the other hand, enable interviewers to quantify candidate emotional intelligence without the guilt. That’s why TalentSmart® developed and is proud to announce the release of the Emotional Intelligence Interview GuideTM.

As Easy as 1-2-3

Screening for emotional intelligence has never been easier or more cost-effective than with TalentSmart®’s Emotional Intelligence Interview GuideTM.

Step 1: The Emotional Intelligence Interview GuideTM provides interviewers with a set of 10 behavioral interview questions that uncover evidence of a candidate’s emotional intelligence skills. Each question includes probing follow-up questions and an explanation of what to look for in a candidate’s responses.

Step 2: Once an interview is complete, the interviewer goes online to rate that candidate’s emotional intelligence in less than 10 minutes.

Step 3: With one click of the mouse, the system generates a full report, including the candidate’s scores in each of the four core EQ skill areas of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

The Emotional Intelligence Interview GuideTM is an invaluable tool that is easily incorporated into an existing hiring process. After interviewers have done the hard work of determining that a candidate has the right knowledge and experience for the job, the last thing they want is to allow a low-EQ candidate to fool the process. The Emotional Intelligence Interview GuideTM ensures that won’t happen.

It has everything you need to select individuals high in EQ, including 
  • Detail interview questions 
  • Instant accessible anytime with no expiration 
  • eLearning that teaches hiring managers:   
    (a) about emotional intelligence 
    (b) how to check references and contact candidates 
    (c) interview do’s and don’ts. 


Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves are the authors of the best-selling Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book. They are the founders and CEOs of TalentSmart Inc., USA. TalentSmart is the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests, emotional intelligence training, and executive coaching. 

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Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2016 13:15