When it comes to hiring the right candidate, a lot goes into the selection process. It’s important to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications to make sure he would make a good fit. This includes evaluating how prepared he is to handle the hard and soft skills the role will entail, which is something human resources departments can struggle with during candidate selection.

Understanding Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient

Before looking into which characteristic matters more, it’s necessary to understand how the two differ. An individual’s Intelligence Quotient or IQ describes his or her ability to reason, how well the person remembers new concepts in the short term and his or her ability to integrate new (and existing) information into job tasks.

When it comes to an individual’s Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ), we’re talking about his or her ability to empathize with and take into account others’ feelings. It also demonstrates how well a person can manage and regulate his own emotions within work or social environments.

Why EQ Matters

One example of someone with a low Emotional Intelligence Quotient is a project manager who is impatient with deadlines and constantly berates his staff. Others include worker who show indifference to coworkers through demeaning words; those showing signs of irritability when colleagues are attempting to clarify misunderstandings; managers who lack self-awareness; and people who lack the ability to empathize with colleagues or subordinates.

How IQ and EQ Work Together in the Workplace

Hiring for a particular position generally requires a compatible level of demonstrated intelligence. Even though an employee may have a track record of progressive academic and work performance, lacking the appropriate level of emotional intelligence may impede optimal performance.

Measuring the social proficiencies of a candidate can have a direct impact on a business’ initial and ongoing profitability. Looking at a sales call for life insurance, a representative with emotional intelligent might initiate small talk about why a client needs a policy in order to develop a personal relationship with the caller. In addition to inquiring about how many assets the client wants to protect and other routine underwriting questions, taking an interest in the customer beyond the sale helps increase call satisfaction.

Another dimension of an employee’s EQ is self-awareness about her role within the organization and how well she takes responsibility for performing her job. Examples of a higher EQ include recognizing one’s own strengths and weaknesses, taking the initiative to work with one’s supervisor to complete tasks on time, and volunteering for additional responsibilities. High levels of patience and persistence when dealing with difficult co-workers or customers are signs of strong emotional intelligence.

While there’s no perfect system to guarantee a candidate is the right fit for the job, hiring an employee with a high EQ in conjunction with demonstrated job competency can increase the chances of a better outcome. New candidates are more likely to get along with coworkers and customers and can help make the organization better-rounded.