Previously, we posted the first part of a two-part series on the five emotional intelligence constructs that you should seek out in all potential job candidates. This article, which is based on the excellent research done in the Harvard Business Review article What Makes a Leader? by Daniel Goleman, will help you understand what each of the emotional intelligence constructs are, the key qualitites that define them, and how you can find these qualities in your candidates. Today, we're publishing part two of this story.
What is it: There are plenty of things that can motivate someone, but in this context “motivation” is more than just working for a paycheck or a raise. Motivation, in the emotional intelligence sense of the word, is about chasing after a goal for the value it brings to oneself, and not simply “doing something to get by.”
Key qualities: You don’t need to look for the “endless optimist” in your batch of candidates to identify someone’s who has this quality, but you should be looking for candidates who can remain positive - regardless of their successes. A positive attitude of this nature can often be reflected through their desire to come into a position and be successful. You should also look for a candidate who’s committed to their job as well as the organization, since motivated individuals are more likely to commit themselves to the goal of success.
How to find it: Motivation is something every employer wants and every employee wants to show they have, especially during the hiring process. But how do you tell the difference between a candidate with motivation and a candidate who’s motivated to get a job? A sort of “stress test simulation” in your hiring process can help to see if a candidate can stay motivated to help customers after they’ve had to deal with several difficult scenarios. You can also use personality-based assessments to find candidates who show a pattern of optimism and positiveness, as well as show commitment to their employers.
What is it: Understanding people’s emotional reactions and being able to respond to them in a helpful manner is the definition of empathy. In terms of your candidates, empathy will mean being able to relate to your customers as well as their future employees.
Key qualities: Being able to keep customers happy, turning a bad experience into a good experience, and diffuse any issues a customer or employee might have are all cornerstones of empathetic employees. However, don’t think that empathy stops at your contact center, frontline service, or retail candidates/employees - empathy is also a fantastic quality to have in your supervisors and managers for retaining employees.
How to find it: Put the candidates in situations where they’re not just managing problems, they’re managing emotions. Multimedia simulations are great at creating upset/angry/frustrated customer experiences that are going to be realistic as well as difficult. Additionally, personality assessments can help see how a candidate manages emotions, as well as responds to emotional situations.
5. Social Skill
What is it: In terms of emotional intelligence, social skills are your basic “relationship building and management” characteristics. Typically, people with social skills are great at doing things like finding common ground between themselves and another individual. In the case of your candidates, that means they’ll be able to make a connection with your customers as well as their fellow employees relatively quickly.
Key qualities: Have you ever met someone who was very convincing about something - trying a new food, going to a new restaurant, seeing a different movie than what you might be interested in? That persuasiveness is a highlight of people with high social skills, but you should also be looking for something much more significant in for your organization: leadership. Candidates who have social skills are going to show them through their ability to take command of a situation, start a change that needs to be made, or be able to assemble and lead teams - making them perfect for supervisor or managerial roles down the line.
How to find it: You’ll want to ask all sorts of leadership-focused questions to identify social skills here, but make sure if you do that you’re using personality assessments to back up those answers. Anyone can talk like a leader if they try hard enough, but can they walk the walk as well? You should also consider building a test that evaluates how candidates might interact with other employees, or better yet observe how they act in the interview process and see how social they might be. This is a great way to gauge how well-managed their social skills are because, since this is a job, you’ll want to make sure they maintain an appropriate level of professionalism without being too dry or too over-the-top.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas