Selective Staffing Insights

Industry news, advice and resources from our expert recruiters.

The valuable skill employers mistakenly overlook

Look up any job posting and you will find a list of hard skills needed with a few soft skills typically sprinkled in. Generally speaking, non entry level jobs will require specific and quantifiable hard skills. Computer systems knowledge for instance. Then you will see soft skills required such as interpersonal communication, time management etc.

The skill rarely (if ever) seen on a job posting: Emotional Intelligence. However, emotional intelligence is the one skill/trait that can be universally applied across every profession from the front line to the C-Suite.

What exactly is emotional intelligence?

Simply put, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions effectively. The editorial team offers up this straightforward explanation of the five parts of emotional intelligence and their benefits in the workplace:

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness​​ is the ability to identify your emotions and emotional triggers. Being aware of your feelings helps you understand how others might perceive your emotions. You might use self-awareness at work to understand how you are viewed by your coworkers, clients or managers.

2. Self-regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to control and adjust your emotions to create a more positive effect. Being in control of your feelings is essential in any situation because your emotions strongly affect other people. You might control your emotions on the job by adjusting your feelings to keep a professional appearance in front of clients.

3. Motivation

Motivation is the urge and desire to do something, and it relates to emotional intelligence because your desires can promote different feelings toward something. For example, having a desire to complete all your daily tasks successfully might be displayed as intrinsic motivation to your employer — and a way of fulfilling your own inner needs and goals.

4. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the feelings of another person. Understanding the feelings of others allows you to handle workplace situations more effectively. For instance, when a coworker is showing signs of dismay, you can react with empathy to alleviate a situation that might have become worse.

5. Social skills

Social skills are the tools used to communicate and interact with other people. Having stronger social skills — like effective communication and respect — allows you to listen, speak and resolve conflicts more effectively. Social skills can be used in the workplace to develop your career and are essential tools for leaders.


Can you screen for emotional intelligence?

Absolutely! Simple, open ended questions such as these can help interviewers evaluate a candidate’s level of EI:

  • How do you recover from failure?
  • When have you felt demotivated, and what did you do to overcome this?

The added benefit is these types of questions have no right or wrong answers, and will create a more conversational interview. Visit Positive Psychology for 25 sharp emotional intelligence questions that can be used in interviews:

Looking to level up your talent acquisition strategy?

At Selective Staffing Solutions, our recruiters not only work on leveling up their own EI, we continuously screen candidates for EI to ensure our employer partners receive the highest performing employees possible. If you’re looking for high performing talent, fill out the form below and one of our expert recruiters will be in touch:

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