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Why EQ Is The Future Of Recruiting

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When recruiting, (especially in today's world of online interviewing), who is more likely to make a better first impression, an extrovert or somebody who appears less resilient?

Past research suggests it’s the extrovert who makes the better impression. Their outgoing and more dominant personality makes it easy for others to rate them highly.  Less resilient & emotionally expressive people on the other hand, are usually seen in a less positive light.

However, recent research findings suggest the status gained by extroverts during first meetings drop as people learn to go beyond first impressions. Less resilient and emotionally expressive people, on the other hand, are seen in a better light as their actual contributions become appreciated.

So what has this got to do with recruitment?

Well, researchers Corrine Bendersky and Neha Parikh Shah, arrived at this conclusion by carrying out two pieces of research. In the first study, they recruited 44 teams in an MBA program to work on an assignment for more than 10 weeks. 

At the start of the team process, the candidates were assessed using a psychometric test on their extroversion, resilience etc. They were also asked to rate the other members in their team on their perceived influence on the group, as well as their expected contribution. The research questionnaire was repeated after 10 weeks.

Data from the research showed that individuals who were assessed as less resilient, more worried and more emotionally expressive, were given low ratings by their teammates at the start of the team process and extroverts received higher status ratings.

During the second round of testing (at 10 weeks), the ratings of less resilient and more emotionally expressive individuals improved, while the extroverts’ ratings went down. The researchers interpreted it as a change in perspective when the contributions of each team member became clearer and more appreciated. The extroverts’ talkative and assertive personalities may have translated to self-centeredness and impatience. The less resilient, more worried & emotionally expressive individuals and those as a consequence, more afraid of social disapproval, performed better than others thought they would.

Bendersky and Shah, carried out follow-up research to test out their interpretation of their findings. They had 300 participants watch a hypothetical "colleague” respond to a request for help on a given task. These colleagues were rated by the participants both before and after they responded to the request.

Results showed that when the hypothetical colleague was described as extroverted, the participants gave them high status ratings, and low ratings when they were described as being less resilient, more worried etc. 

In the second round of testing, though, when the participants saw how the hypothetical colleague responded to the request, the ratings changed. People described to be extroverted were punished more if they did not show much willingness to help. The less resilient, more worried individuals etc., who responded generously, received higher ratings.

So, what happens in critical situations, such as recruitment where decisions have to be made fast and on the basis of relatively short assessment processes? How do you know you will get the best candidate for the job role? 

The EBW View

This research shows how our initial judgements are often flawed and how our first impressions and perception of events can be shaped by our understanding of the people in the event/situation. 

For today’s recruiters this issue is often compounded as they are often so pressed for time that they don't have the capacity, however much they might want to, to truly absorb and understand their clients’ needs. 

Whilst good recruiters understand this - a first impression can often still be the defining moment at the beginning of a connection; if done incorrectly, it can set the tone for the rest of the interaction, especially online.
However, recruiters who use their Emotional Intelligence or a good Emotional Intelligence assessment are better equippso what ed with the tools needed to understand others and what their strengths and flaws are. 

By using Emotional Intelligence assessments you are able to restrain distracting emotions of your own (time commitments, clients demands etc).  In addition, Emotionally Intelligent individuals are able to perceive the emotions and behaviours of others, getting a more accurate sense of where the other individual stands before forming a judgement on their competence. Emotionally Intelligent recruiters and managers are better prepared to understand and make a solid connection with others.

Talking to candidates, recruiters and organisations from around the world there is strong sense that good [recruiting] should not be just about hiring but about hiring and then supporting the person as they get integrated into an organisation.

“When you’re a recruiter, you have an intimate relationship with that person, and you want and need them to succeed”

This is where tools like the EBW Global Emotional Intelligence System can help as it provides an assessment platform that enables managers and recruiters to quickly get under the skin of a candidate and provides them with tools to support them, so they fly through their probation period and stay with the organisation for the longer term.

The good news is that if you are recruiter or a manager who feels you don't know if you have the right Emotional Intelligence skills or tools, there’s no need to worry.  Emotional Intelligence is not a stagnant quality and can be trained over time.

With the right tools and enough practice, any individual can hone their Emotional Intelligence to improve their ability to understand others to discover their candidates' true potential in the workplace.

Discover how EBW Global Emotional Intelligence System reveals what candidates may not want you to know. EQ Recruitment



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The EBW Global Emotional Intelligence System is a unique assessment and development tool for Managers, Executive Coaches, HR experts and Psychologists.

Based on over 20 years of worldwide use and research, it enables you to get leaders and teams to understand why they behave the way they do and use a highly effective 10 step framework to improve their occupational performance.

With a practitioner's network based on 6 continents, all of whom are licensed to use the EBW System, we guarantee the EBW Emotional Intelligence approach empowers leaders and teams to transform themselves and their organisations. 


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