We at Payday Staffing believe that hiring decisions need to be based on more than what is on the resume. There are many accomplished people that look good on paper, but become a disaster once you hire them.

The world of academia is filled with stories of geniuses who can’t match their socks. Likewise, we’ve all known someone who excels at their profession, but is so unpleasant that they disrupt everything they touch. Sometimes those emotionally problematic people turn into a Steve Jobs. Other times they are just toxic.

This is why many recruiters are giving more consideration to an applicant’s emotional quotient (EQ) than their IQ.


eqAccording to Dan Goleman‘s 1995 bestseller EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: WHY IT CAN MATTER MORE THAN IQ, people with high EQs tend to have five qualities or competencies in common:

  1. Optimism — ability to anticipate the best possible outcome of events or actions
  2. Self-Awareness — knowledge of current emotional state, strengths, and weaknesses
  3. Empathy — understanding of others’ points of view and decision-making processes
  4. Impulse Control — ability to mitigate an urge to act (think first and act later)
  5. Reality Testing — ability to see things as they are, not as we want them to be

According to IQ vs. EQ: Hire Smart People Who Understand More Than Just the Job, “the more of the qualities a person possesses, and the more they use them, the higher EQ they typically have.”

Fast Company says companies need an emotionally intelligent workforce because:

  1. They are great leaders
  2. They are diffusers
  3. They are curious
  4. They foster repeat clients

But don’t take the word of pundits and writers, there’s hard science to back this up. Forbes quotes the following studies that prove that an employee’s EQ translates into business success:

“For example, one study followed the hiring of sales agents for L’Oreal on the basis of certain emotional competencies. These agents outsold other salespeople by $91,370 for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. If that weren’t enough, the high EQ employees had 63% less turnover during the first year than those selected in the typical manner.

“In a separate study, a national insurance company found that sales agents who were weak in emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative, and empathy sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Not bad, right? Well, compared to agents who scored high in a majority of emotional competencies, they sold policies worth an average of $114,000.

“In a third international study of 515 senior executives, emotional intelligence was a better predictor of success than either relevant previous experience or high IQ.”


While there are tests (both online and hard copy) that can help hiring managers test an applicant’s EQ for those Hiring for Emotional Intelligence, The Harvard Business Review suggests using anecdotal questions to draw out examples of an applicant’s EQ. For example:

  • Tell me about a conflict you had with a peer, direct report, or boss how did it start and how did it get resolved?
  • Tell me about a time when you did or said something that had a negative impact on a customer, peer, or direct report. How did you know the impact was negative?
  • Have you ever been in a business situation where you thought you needed to adjust your behavior? How did you know and what did you do?
  • Tell me about a situation when you discovered that you were on the wrong course. How did you know? What did you do? What, if anything, did you learn from the experience?

Payday HCM and Payday Staffing can help you with the emotional decision of whom to hire. We have 30+ years of experience to help you find, screen, pay, and keep the best employees.

If you have any questions, call us at 888-2PAYDAY FREE or contact us via http://paydayhcm.com/contact-us.

Payday HCM

Payday HCM

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