Using emotional intelligence to recruit talent

By Anita Jaynes on 5 December, 2018

Director of Swindon-based Niche Recruitment, Nick Wimshurst, shares how Niche incorporates emotional intelligence profiling into their recruitment process.

‘Talent shortage’ and ‘skill shortages’ are frequently emerging terms within the recruitment industry. A consistent message from businesses and recruiters is that they don’t have enough candidates to fill the increasing number of job vacancies. Alongside this, a report by the Office for National Statistics (2017) reveals that unemployment is at a 42-year low.  

With these low unemployment rates and an increasing amount of job vacancies in the market, is it time that employers look at other ways to recruit talent and focus on positive candidate attributes and behaviours rather than a lack of specific skills?

At Niche Recruitment we’re always looking for creative ways over and around industry hurdles. Of course, skillset is an extremely important component of finding the right talent, but surely a candidate who has significant personal/interpersonal skills and the ability to be trained is just as valued?

M. Murphy (2011) says that ‘89% of hires failed due to personal attributes, not skills competency’. This has led us down the exciting path of exploring Emotional Intelligence (EI) in our recruitment and selection processes in partnership with a leading business psychology consultancy.

EI Profiling explores below the surface and looks at an individual’s behaviour, feelings and attitudes and not just the expertise they hold. EI is proven to be directly related to an individual’s performance at work both personally and interpersonally. As human beings, without emotions we’re unable to make decisions and manage our personality, which is a huge part of any job role.  

Teams made up of individuals with high emotional intelligence have been consistently linked to success and achievement. Research has shown that these teams are more productive, collaborate effectively and have a superior approach when it comes to resolving workplace conflict. A team made up of individuals with low EI is likely to be unbalanced, closed and limited in productivity levels. Achieving an accurate team dynamic is critical to a business’s success and foundation and EI is a proven critical component. 

The profiling system that we use includes a short questionnaire and measures ten different key components of effectiveness. These are divided up into two sections; personal effectiveness including competencies such as ‘Showing Resilience’, ‘Driving for success’ and ‘Adapting to change” and interpersonal effectiveness including ‘Connecting with people’, ‘Inspiring others’ and ‘Valuing people’. 

Once an applicant has completed the questionnaire, a report is composed, and the reader is able to clearly identify the different levels of competencies across these behaviours. These scores are critical in providing guidance, planning training on areas to improve and more importantly for businesses, a selection of suggested interview questions. The interview styled questions are suggestions designed to help businesses find candidates who hold the same core values as the business and help screen those highly emotional intelligent people who can help your business thrive. 

Utilising EI brings added value to the recruitment process for both the businesses and the candidate and feedback from both has proven that. Once the questionnaire has been completed, candidates receive a report that is generated to highlight their key areas of strengths and areas in which development is required. Knowledge of these areas can also help them to secure employment opportunities in the future.

If you’re curious how emotional intelligence profiling could help your business find the best talent email:

Pictured above: Niche Recruitment’s Nick Wimshurst