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Emotional Intelligence: Where Does It Matter Most?

Last week, CareerBuilder released the results of a recent nationwide survey, which found that 34 percent of hiring managers are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when it comes to hiring and promoting employees post-recession.

The survey also revealed that 71 percent of hiring managers value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ; 59 percent would not hire someone with low emotional intelligence; and, for a remarkable 75 percent of hiring managers, emotional intelligence trumps IQ when it comes to deciding on employee promotions.

But how do those numbers compare when broken down by certain industries? Let’s take a look:

Government

  • 34 percent of government employers said they are placing a greater emphasis on high EI for hiring and promotion decisions post-recession
  • 70 percent value emotional intelligence in employees more than IQ
  • 62 percent would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI
  • 77 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker

Government employers also said they value emotional intelligence because employees who display this quality tend to resolve conflict effectively and are more likely to stay calm under pressure. In response to the findings, Chuck Loeher, area vice president for CareerBuilder, said:

“Government jobs aren’t just about producing information and ideas – there’s a lot of moving and organizing people, as well. A deep knowledge base is important no matter your position, but dynamic interpersonal skills are needed to successfully motivate groups made up of diverse personalities, ideologies and work ethics. All workers, at all levels of government, can benefit from deeper insights into their own emotional intelligence.”

Information Technology (IT)

  • 37 percent of IT employers said they are placing a greater emphasis on high emotional intelligence for hiring and promotion decisions post-recession
  • 52 percent value emotional intelligence in their employees more than IQ
  • 55 percent would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI
  • 61 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker

When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, IT employers said they believe employees with high emotional intelligence know how to resolve conflict effectively and tend to make more thoughtful business decisions. Jamie Carney, senior product director of Sologig.com, had this to say about the findings:

“The data helps unravel the myth that the best IT professionals are smart people locked to their computer screens. Technical competency is a must, but when it’s down to you and another candidate for a promotion or new job, it’s dynamic interpersonal skills that will set you apart. Emotional intelligence is a sign of leadership and the ability to be a team player – that’s the type of worker most IT managers want.”

Retail

  • 34 percent of retail employers said they are placing a higher emphasis on emotional intelligence for hiring and promotion decisions post-recession
  • 79 percent value high emotional intelligence over high IQ
  • 55 percent would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI
  • 79 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker

For retail employers, high emotional intelligence is valuable in employees because it indicates they know how to appeal to customers and can stay calm under pressure. According to Bill Meidell, product director at WorkinRetail.com:

“The nature of retail work demands employees who can sense what their clients and customers need the moment they walk through the doors. A high IQ is important in any profession, but retail is a social space that demands dynamic interpersonal skills. Workers with high emotional intelligence are the key to customer loyalty.”

Health care

  • 37 percent said they are placing a higher emphasis on emotional intelligence for hiring and promotion decisions post-recession
  • 81 percent said they value high emotional intelligence over high IQ,
  • 72 percent of health care employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI.
  • 87 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker.

The ability to stay calm under pressure and resolve conflict effectively topped the list of reasons health care employers place such high emphasis on emotional intelligence in their employees. Looking at these results, Rob Morris, product director at MiracleWorkers.com, said:

“High Emotional Intelligence is important in the health care field because understanding a patient’s emotional needs is sometimes just as important as treating their medical condition. Moreover, stress can take its toll on health care workers. Emotional Intelligence is a sign that professionals will be able to ease the pressure by empathizing with both their patients and colleagues.”

How important is emotional intelligence in your industry?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
1 comments
Shootist
Shootist

Funny. EI doesn't correlate with future success. It give no testable results It is a complete nullity. 


The take away, of course, is; don't hire autistics. Only hire used car salesmen and politicians. 

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