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Nearly all HR managers say emotional intelligence important, study finds

February 24, 2017

Professionals can rely on their emotional intelligence to deal with the variety of personalities and challenging situations they encounter at work, according to research by OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). When employees take emotions into account, they make better decisions, communicate more diplomatically and resolve issues faster regardless of who or what comes their way.

Nearly all HR managers and workers surveyed, 95% and 99% respectively, said it’s important for staff to have high emotional intelligence. More than one in five employees, 21%, believe EQ is more valuable in the workplace than IQ, and 65% said the two are equally important.

Three in 10 HR managers, 30%, feel most employers put too little emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process, and 43% identified increased motivation and morale as the greatest benefit of having emotionally intelligent staff.

“The value of emotional intelligence in the workplace shouldn’t be underestimated — it’s vital to companies and teams,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “When organizations take EQ into consideration when hiring and also help existing staff improve in this area, the result is more adaptable, collaborative and empathetic employees.”

What companies use to gauge job applicants’ EQ:

  • Reference checks: 70%
  • Behavioral-based interview questions: 55%
  • Personality/psychometric tests: 32%
  • Don’t gauge candidates’ emotional intelligence: 15%

The surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 600 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 800 workers employed in office environments in the US and Canada.


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Kevin Cottingim02/27/2017 08:43 am

Well, I think the writers of this report had a hidden agenda. The real story was that 79% of HR managers believe that IQ is more important than EQ in the workplace.

Of course, both are important. But, if someone does not have enough "smarts" for a given position, no amount of EQ will help him or her be successful.

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