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How to Hire Emotionally Intelligent Employees

The multi-billion dollar companies employ smart employees. These companies recruit from the best colleges. Successful businesses go after the overachievers who will drive their businesses to success. However, the kind of intelligence these companies seek isn’t solely based on knowledge, skills, or abilities.

Fortune 500 companies look for people that possess the soft skills of emotional intelligence. This article will explore the reasons why an employer should employ emotionally intelligent workers and how an employer can source them.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is having an awareness of one’s own emotions and how they affect others. Emotionally intelligent people are natural leaders that empower their employees. People with these skills encourage communication, empathy, and self-confidence in their employees. Employees want to work for people who are emotionally intelligent, so the companies are able to retain more of their top talent.

These people are able to drive the company towards optimum performance. Emotionally smart leaders are like the superstar basketball coaches that transform losing team members into champions through their ability to encourage and infuse others with enthusiasm.

Workers who have emotional intelligence also tend to have integrity. They’ll genuinely care about doing a good job and not harming others because these workers have the ability to put themselves in the other person’s shoes with their strong sense of empathy.

Hiring Practices

To source the emotionally intelligent, actively recruit graduates from institutions that include soft skills as a part of their curriculum. Go to the career fair at colleges and universities and speak with potential new candidates. Be mindful of their behavior, how they treat others, and how people respond to them.

Get recommendations from teachers and career counselors. Talk to members of organizations and military to find team-minded professionals. Communicate in your job posting the kind of soft skills that you’re seeking to attract like-minded future employees.

To hire emotionally intelligent leaders, a company will need to do a thorough background check. Alternately, a company may elect to hire a staffing agency to do professional pre-employment screening for them. Skimping on proper employee research can result in a bad hiring decision, which can be detrimental to business operations and employee morale.

In addition to checking criminal and credit histories, the business will need to probe previous employers for information about the employee’s behavior.

While many previous employers prefer to give generic responses or limit their responses to simple dates of employment, draw out information that can clue you in on how the employee will behave in the new job.

To do this, an employer will need to talk to the right person. For example, the employee’s former supervisor who observed the employee’s behavior is more apt to reveal useful information than another person at the company who rarely ever saw the individual.

Also, ask references open-ended questions about how the potential job candidate got along with previous supervisors, coworkers, and customers. Ask if they would hire the person and the reasons why. Perhaps most importantly, ask about the type of advice the person would give to better manage the person. For example, if the former supervisor says the employee could never get to work on time or always got into fights with others, these are red flags that the person lacks emotional intelligence.

Lastly, check electronic references by viewing the employee’s online presence. Often, people are too open with their personal views online. An employee’s online views can be associated with the company. If an employee is posting racial slurs, profanity, or other negative viewpoints, this prospective employee may lack emotional intelligence and could be a public relations nightmare if hired.

Staffing Agencies

Employees who lack emotional intelligence can cost a company its high paying clients and customers. Poor employees can decrease overall morale or even cause talented employees to quit. Finding great employees by yourself can be expensive. Making a bad hiring decision can cost you even more.

Let a great staffing agency take the burden of finding excellent employees off your shoulders. Each year staffing agencies help millions of talented individuals get jobs with businesses looking for workers with soft skills like emotional intelligence.

If you are interested in hiring emotionally intelligent employees, contact BIRK Staffing & Technical Services.


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