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At Chicago jobs, employers value emotional intelligence

Posted on August 21, 2011

According to a new survey, employers at Chicago jobs and other jobs around the nation value emotional intelligence over IQ.

The survey from CareerBuilder revolves around Emotional Intelligence (EI), a general assessment of a person’s abilities to control emotions, to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions, and manage relationships. The national survey –conducted May 19 to June 8, 2011, with more than 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals – reveals that EI is a critical characteristic for landing a job and advancing one’s career.

Fifty-nine percent of employers at Illinois jobs and other states around the nation said they would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI. For workers being considered for a promotion, the high EI candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate in most cases – 75 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker.

“The competitive job market allows employers to look more closely at the intangible qualities that pay dividends down the road – like skilled communicators and perceptive team players,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Technical competency and intelligence are important assets for every worker, but when it’s down to you and another candidate for a promotion or new job, dynamic interpersonal skills will set you apart. In a recovering economy, employers want people who can effectively make decisions in stressful situations and can empathize with the needs of their colleagues and clients to deliver the best results.”

When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said (in order of importance):

Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
Employees lead by example
Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ EI by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:

They admit and learn from their mistakes
They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
They listen as much or more than they talk
They take criticism well
They show grace under pressure