The Best Recruiters Have High Emotional Intelligence

“Attitude is everything” is a phrase that many people hear throughout their lifetime. Now, there’s evidence to prove how important a positive attitude actually is—especially if recruiting is your chosen profession.

In 2017, the turnover rate within the recruitment industry was 352%. Emotional Intelligence is a variable that has been shown to positively affect retention rates across industries. In fact, research has found that companies whose staff displayed higher levels of emotional intelligence, or EQ, had 63% less turnover than companies with lower scores. Also, salespeople who displayed high levels of EQ outperformed their colleagues by as much as 50%.

EQ is the measurement of how one perceives, evaluates, and controls emotion. Those with palpable emotional intelligence evaluate their own thoughts and feelings to take the most effective action.

While high emotional intelligence is beneficial in all fields, it is especially important in recruitment due to the fundamental emphasis on trust and communication. Successful recruiters use emotional intelligence throughout all phases of their work – introducing candidates to new opportunities, understanding their potential motivating factors, listening to concerns, the offer negotiation process. . . everything they do involves people and emotions.

In Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, he outlines five categories that recruiters should consider throughout their day-to-day interactions:

  • Self-Awareness: Recruiters who are self-aware recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and the circumstances under which they work best. An important factor of self-awareness is also understanding how their moods, emotions, and drives affect other people.

  • Self-Regulation: Practicing self-regulation includes acting on self-awareness and knowing how to control or redirect impulses. This means knowing what and how much to take on before stress and emotions start to get in the way. Self-regulation has shown to be a critical factor in successful collaboration in the workplace.

  • Motivation: Recruiters should be highly self-motivated and highly organized. Those who are motivated to take control of their schedule and maximize their efficiency to increase output. An important part of motivation in the recruiting industry is continually leveraging it, especially after failure.

  • Empathy: This refers to the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. Being empathetic doesn’t only apply to feelings of sadness, guilt, doubt – it’s bringing a personal level of understanding to a professional relationship.

  • People Skills: Being a “people person” is more than having the ability to listen and act; it’s building trust through ongoing communication and finding common ground to build rapport.

Most recruiters identify with these traits to some degree, but only those who strive for complete mastery will actualize their complete potential. Working to improve in Goleman’s five categories will require constant attention, and results may not be immediately noticeable. However, research has proven that this is something all companies should focus on—employees who display high emotional intelligence are more productive and more valuable. For recruitment firms especially, implementing these traits as a focus should result in a decrease in turnover rate and an increase in successful placements.

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