You might think that an impressive GPA is your ticket to the top, but the truth is that valedictorians aren’t shoe-ins for jobs, and CEO’s aren’t all geniuses on the IQ scale. While “book smarts” and high marks on report cards ARE important and do provide valuable insight into the work ethic and capabilities of an individual, they are not the sole determining factor employers look at while making hiring decisions. A recent study conducted by Career Builder shows that emotional intelligence and the way that individuals handle certain situations bears much stronger weight during the hiring process.
That doesn’t mean that college students looking at their job prospects should abandon their text books and deem them useless on their quest for employment; it simply means that hiring managers are looking for a more well-rounded and all-encompassing form of “intelligence.” So while compiling your resume and preparing for an interview, it is important not only to highlight points of high intellect, but to also focus more broadly on specific skills beneficial to the workplace, such as your ability to work on a team, be a leader, etc.
Read below for more information on CareerBuilder’s survey, as outlined on their Hiring Site blog.
Survey: Employers Value Emotional Intelligence Over IQ
Heeding the timeless advice of Roxette, a majority of employers are listening their hearts when it comes to hiring, and placing a higher emphasis on candidates’ emotional intelligence than their IQ’s.
That’s according to CareerBuilder’s latest survey, which indicates that 71 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over IQ.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a general assessment of a person’s abilities to control emotions, to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions, and manage relationships.
The survey of more than 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide reveals that EI is a critical characteristic for landing a job and advancing one’s career. According to the survey:
- 34 percent of hiring managers said they are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting employees post-recession
- 71 percent said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ
- 59 percent of employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI
- 75 percent are more likely to promote an employee with a high EI over one with a high IQ
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, cites today’s competitive job market as a reason employers are focusing more on emotional intelligence when it comes to hiring.
“In a recovering economy, employers want people who can effectively make decisions in stressful situations and can empathize with the needs of their colleagues and clients to deliver the best results,” Haefner says in a statement for the survey’s press release.
Survey participants gave the following reasons for placing a higher value on EI over IQ (in order of importance):
- Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
- Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
- Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
- Employees lead by example
- Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions
Looking for Signs: How to Spot a High EI
HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ EI by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top qualities they look for, according to the survey, include the following:
- They admit and learn from their mistakes
- They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
- They listen as much or more than they talk
- They take criticism well
- They show grace under pressure
What do you think of these findings? Do you place a higher emphasis on EI than on IQ?