IQ or EQ: Which Is More Important When Hiring a Candidate?

When you hire, you look for the best and the brightest, but what does that mean on the job floor? 

Traditionally, hiring the “best” meant looking for someone with a high intelligence quotient or IQ, which demonstrates a candidate’s intelligence potential. A high IQ comes with an assurance that the candidate understands the most technical processes and can even suggest improvements. 

However, a high IQ doesn’t mean your candidate will succeed in the workplace. Today, many businesses now prioritize a high EQ (emotional quotient) instead. 

What’s an EQ? 

An EQ or emotional quotient tests your emotional intelligence, which refers to your ability to understand and empathize with other people.  The factor has become more prevalent in hiring as the world has become more global. But it’s actually essential to have a have EQ whether you hire candidates from down the street or from across the globe. 

A person with a high EQ demonstrates characteristics like: 

  • High self-awareness 
  • Keen self-regulation 
  • Inherent motivation 
  • Advanced social skills 
  • Strong sense of empathy 

But why do these skills outweigh a person’s supposed ability to calculate the answers to difficult problems? Because everyone has to work with other people. 

Why EQ Weighs More than IQ at Work 

A person’s ability to be self-aware, have empathy, and motivate themselves is critical for them to do their job. It also plays into their ability to build relationships, which are essential at work. 

When you have a high EQ, you can better manage interpersonal relationships and find a more natural transition into leadership roles (even without a promotion). These skills also make it easier to recover from failure, which is critical for employees. After all, failure isn’t falling down but staying down. 

Don’t Just Hire for EQ, Build It 

As business owners, it’s not enough to hire emotionally intelligent candidates. You also need to support them. 

It’s vital to continually educate your teams in emotional intelligence and help them build their skills. While it’s possible to do this through character education, their education also needs to be cultural. You should model positive behaviors and always encourage your employees to lead with empathy first. 

Do You Run an Emotionally Intelligent Workplace? 

We all want smart teams, but seeking out high IQs isn’t enough to succeed. Your candidate’s ability to motivate themselves, pick themselves up when they fail, and work well with others is an arguably more important part of the hiring process. 

Remember, it’s not only up to you to build emotionally intelligent teams. You also need to support them with the right training and culture if you want them to thrive. 

At Energi Personnel, we look for well-rounded candidates who can not only fulfill their job duties but thrive in their roles.  Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you meet your staffing needs.