Emotional Intelligence in Recruiting

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020, emotional intelligence will need to be a Top 10 skill for all workers.

So what does that mean for recruiters?

More than you might think, according to Caroline Stokes, who presented the session “How Emotional Intelligence Can Make You a Better Recruiter” during the Recruiting Trends and Talent Tech conference in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Considering the fact that the U.S. Air Force recently switched to emotionally intelligent recruiters and saved $3 million in operating costs, Stokes says that shows there is a definite bottom-line impact on the organization when choosing emotionally intelligent recruiters over typically trained recruiters.

Stokes is founder and CEO of both her recruiting agency FORWARD  and The Emotionally Intelligent Recruiter, and she has nearly ten years as an executive headhunter and coach, with clients such as Autodesk, Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Disney and other innovation leaders.

She began by sharing what Facebook’s head of workforce, Ross Sparkman, identified as some attributes of a good recruiter, including:

* The ability to learn from mistakes;

* Continually self-improving;

* Opportunistic and able to move fast; and

* Data/metric driven.

Stokes said that while curiosity is among the most-valuable qualities recruiters can exhibit when interacting with candidates, recruiters may sometimes hold back their questions when meeting a candidate.

“One of the reasons why curiosity isn’t part of our normal makeup is because [recruiters] are supposed to know everything. But we don’t,” she said in a mock whisper, “so don’t worry about it and just be curious.”

Recruiters will continue to be the lynchpin for organizational success even as bots, artificial intelligence and automation increase in usage, she said.

“We need to work in harmony with artificial intelligence,” she said. “Tech cannot replace the human experience. In fact, it’s never been more important to be human.”

Regardless of where technology takes recruiters in the future, one thing won’t ever change, Stokes said.

“The actual skills recruiters need,” she said, ” are to be a good listener and communicator.”

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