Despite the fact that more than half of all firms in the UK think high scores on the emotional intelligence scale are important for every employee, 25% of managers interviewed in the same study report that emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is undervalued in the hiring process.
The fourth industrial revolution is already knocking on our doors, and according to the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is going to become one of the highly valued skills.
What are the reasons that stand behind this? If emotional intelligence is underlined as an important factor in the hiring process of tomorrow, why it is undervalued today?
To help you out, we have put together a list of reasons, including how to use specific solutions to change this, such as online chat software and employee training software.
Skills and Knowledge are a Priority
The hiring process can incorporate many things, but the most important things interviewers focus on are skills and knowledge. We live in a world that changes at a rapid pace. All those new technologies, processes and best practices force organizations to pay attention to the top talents in the field.
In order to get to the top talents, companies do extensive background checks, visit job fairs countrywide, and utilize tests that measure specific knowledge and assess specific skillsets.
Emotional intelligence comes last in this hiring equation. Organizations try to work around it by organizing happy hours, team building and other activities that promote team spirit and collaboration.
The bottom line is – skills, knowledge, experience, and competencies come first and emotional intelligence is something organizations put on the side.
L&D Departments Focus on Identifying Skill Gaps
As we have mentioned in the previous section, rapid development in the business world can stretch the company workforce thin. This leaves L&D departments with little options. They are forced to continuously work on assessing the workforce with the intention of identifying and rectifying skill gaps.
When was the last time you heard that the ability to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others was labeled as something a company has to work on?
L&D departments work on identifying gaps that can cause the company to become less competitive, or, ultimately fail. This also reflects the hiring process. The people in the HR department work hand in hand with their L&D colleagues. If the workforce cannot benefit from the training, they hire new talents.
Hiring preferences orbit around the skill gaps identified by the L&D department, and the chances are that these are not in any way related to emotional intelligence.
Common Psychometric Testing Doesn’t Include EQ Scale
There are companies that value their company culture. Besides the skills, knowledge, and experience, they want to make sure that a candidate is also a good fit for their culture.
This is why psychometric testing is also a common practice in the hiring process. If not for all job candidates, then at least for those applying for management positions.
While this provides good results, psychometric tests are not designed to measure emotional intelligence. These tests tell whether the candidate is an introvert or extrovert, highlight specific personality traits and intelligence.
Unfortunately, emotional intelligence eludes these instruments, which is another proof that it is an undervalued trait.
Productivity is More Important Than EI
Long-term strategies are reserved for companies with money to spare. Even these companies want to see people deliver results as soon as possible. In other words, companies are focused on improving productivity and efficiency. This also reflects on the hiring process.
HR managers favor candidates who are able to start working and deliver results immediately. Including emotional intelligence will only prolong the hiring process and make the hiring decision even tougher. For instance, what if a perfect candidate in terms of knowledge, skills, and experience has low scores on the emotional intelligence scale, and an average candidate nails it? Who to hire?
The “Cut Down Expenses” Trend
This reason is correlated with the previous one. Expanding the hiring process will not only prolong it but make it even more expensive.
More and more organizations are being focused on cutting down expenses and they already have hiring practices in place that deliver some results.
At this point, organizations still don’t see ROI in hiring emotionally intelligent people, which directly affects the value of EQ in the hiring process.
How to Turn the Tides
The hiring practices are rooted in tradition and it will take some time and effort to bring innovations. If you think that emotional intelligence deserves a better place, there are a few things that can be done.
Emotional Intelligence and Employee Training Software
Employee training software can help organizations continuously work on improving the position of EQ in the hiring process. Different courses and learning materials designed to help people recognize the value of having coworkers who know how to manage their own and others’ emotions can go a long way.
Employee training software can also help organizations become ready for the future as described by the World Economic Forum and help employees develop emotional intelligence.
Online Chat Software as a New Line of Communication
Emotional intelligence is the foundation of communication, which is one of the most important skills in the business sphere. Customer support and service agents with high emotional intelligence can delight customers via online chat software and prove the value of this trait.
The transcript of customer issue resolutions based on emotional awareness can serve as valuable learning material for other employees, and help HR refine the recruitment process by including EQ assessment in it.
As you can see, the reasons why EQ is undervalued in the hiring process are rooted in decades of business practice. Since the new trends are emerging and the value of EQ is becoming increasingly important, organizations can refine their hiring process and give EQ assessment the place it deserves. Employee training software can help them bring more employees on board, and online chat software can help executives see the power of EQ.