How to Use Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

Emotional intelligence – a definition

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Much in line with the nature vs. nurture debate, some researchers suggest that it can be learnt and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been the leading experts on emotional intelligence since 1990. In their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” they defined emotional intelligence as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (1990).

How can we use this to improve our recruitment processes?

We know that successfully landing a job is not purely based upon a candidate’s qualifications or IQ score. In addition to experience, what employers want is the right personality type, who will be able to fit comfortably in with the team.

When we interview candidates, we go through a number of active thought processes. Without realising it, we are measuring their responses, mannerisms and how well they put themselves across. What we are really doing is assessing their emotional intelligence. It’s that quality, honesty and ability to build rapport that is so often the key to them standing out from the other applicants – and this is the type of employee who ultimately helps the employer to improve staff retention and keep costs down.

What’s important is how we implement our understanding of emotional intelligence to improve how we increase the quality of our hires; whether we are looking for a new graduate recruitment consultant or we are sourcing the perfect candidate.

Get the description right

Firstly, when taking down a job description, focusing on the core behaviours is a vital element to sourcing the best person for the job. Think about what qualities they are looking for in an employee.

A bad job description will describe only specific qualifications required, and the responsibilities of the role. Whilst these might imply the core behaviours the candidate needs to demonstrate in interview, a much better specification touches on the person’s softer skills – a more successful specification might include:

  • Adaptable
  • Able to influence key stakeholders
  • Strong communication
  • Able to negotiate
  • Problem-solving
  • Articulate
  • Team player
  • Self-motivated

       An important part of any job description is an insight into the company culture – does the organisation have a strong social side? Is it a competitive environment? All these unique elements will suit different sets of emotional behaviours – and as the recruiter it is up to you to match the right type of personality to the organisation, as well as taking their experience into consideration. This approach will result in successful placements and promote stronger relationships with your clients.

In the interview stage, you are likely to gauge how emotionally intelligent someone is by their body language and how they articulate themselves. Don’t underestimate your gut feeling – if someone is saying all the right things, but for some reason you doubt their integrity or their confidence in themselves, it is worth thinking about whether they will give the same impression to the team.

HR Nugget – Tips in How to Select the Right Candidate for the Role

The single most important decision for managers is selecting the right employee for the right job. Selecting the right employee doesn’t just happen; it takes preparation, thought and work.
Recruiting can often be a hard and drawn out process and choosing the ideal candidate for a position in your company can often be a challenging process.

Taking the time to make sure the right employee is in the job has a direct effect on business performance and staff turn around.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process of finding the right candidate for your vacancy:

1. Have a clear view of the specific job. Ask yourself some key questions such as:

  • What skills are you looking for?
  • What experience is required?
  • What do you think the skills required will be in a year from now?

2. Good interviewing is about being focussed, listening and verifying your thoughts. Study and write out questions specifically aimed at uncovering the presence of those characteristics for the ideal fit to the role – competency based interviews or CBI’s are becoming a common route to determining such attributes.

3. Start the interview with less demanding questions and build up to the more pressured ones.  This helps put the candidate at ease and allows you to ask more probing questions later.

4. Move past what’s on paper and don’t let a glowing CV lower your guard. Just because a candidate has the experience to set them apart from other applicants doesn’t necessarily mean they have the on the job skills.

5. It is helpful to have a second opinion. Have a member of your team sit in on the interview. Very often they may have picked up on something you have not.

6. Follow up on supplied references. This is often brushed aside however it is an important step. Star candidates have been known to supply references of previous employers who have fired them!!

7. Listen to your instincts. As people we feel certain chemistry in any new relationship and this new “manager/employee” relationship is also subject to those gut instincts.

8. Consider company culture. While it is important to find a candidate who fits perfectly into a position it is equally important they fit the culture of the company. Your candidates are living, breathing people – focus on getting to know them in more ways than one.

9. Finally remember the candidate may not be applying to your role exclusively – If the right candidate comes along do not procrastinate and offer them the role.

 

HR Nugget – Interviewing Tips

As we are now approaching the New Year, some companies get active in filling those vacant jobs or new jobs.  It is so important to set time aside to conduct the interviews.   Here are a few nuggets:

  • Be on Time!
  • Establish Rapport
  • Put candidate at ease
  • Discuss process – timeframe/skills assessment
  • Position discussion- Identify aspects of the position and how it ties into the organisation. Describe the position – don’t minimize the realities and don’t over sell the job!
  • Obtain information from the candidate- competency based Questions
  • Encourage the applicant to do most of the talking (80/20 rule)
  • Ask the same questions of all applicants for consistency and fairness
  • Avoid asking questions pertaining to Discrimination:, such as -Age, Race or ethnicity, ancestry, birthplace, native language, religion, religious customs or holidays, sex or gender, pregnancy or medical history, family or marital status, childcare arrangements, physical or mental disabilities.

 

Be careful what you ask, remember that asking the wrong questions could be potential liability for your Company.

Illegal Questions – What you can’t ask at Interview!Interview questions and issues you want to avoid include asking improper, even illegal interview questions making discriminatory statements, and making binding contract statements such as:

  • Are you an EU citizen? (adversely impacts national origin)
  • Do you have a visual, speech, or hearing disability?
  • Are you planning to have a family? When?
  • Have you ever filed a workers’ compensation claim?
  • How many days of work did you miss last year due to illness?
  • What off-the-job activities do you participate in?
  • Would you have a problem working with a female partner?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Do you have children? How old are they?
  • What year did you graduate from school/college? (reveals age)

Final Reminders:

  • It is essential to know discrimination laws.
  • The interviewer should stay focused on the job and it’s requirements, not any preconceived assumptions about what the applicant can or cannot do.
  • Sell the job and the company while keeping your pitch realistic. Unrealistic job expectations will generally lead to employee dissatisfaction
  • Make sure you elicit questions or provide information which will help clear up any unanswered questions or doubts that are lingering in the applicant’s mind.
  • End the interview on a friendly note and, if possible, apprise the candidate of the next step and the time frame for a decision
  • Complete the evaluation form while the interview/s is still fresh in your mind.
  • Make a fair and unbiased recommendations or decision based on the job related qualifications of the applicants.

If you need any more information or support with your Interview process, please contact Mary on 086 8225448

How To Avoid Illegal Or Inappropriate Interview Questions

Image result for interview questions

As many employers are now hiring again, I felt that it may be appropriate to remind you of some areas of questioning that may be potentially illegal or inappropriate to venture into.

Some interview questions are obviously discriminatory and avoided by almost all employers. However, when trying to build a friendly rapport during an interview, it can be easy to innocently stray into ‘grey’ areas which may seem harmless but are in fact discriminatory, and therefore potentially illegal. Employers may think they are just making conversation but could be leaving themselves open to litigation.

How you can find out all the information you need in an interview without straying into potentially litigious territory?

  1. Before you start the interview…

Although anti-discrimination legislation can feel like a minefield, it doesn’t have to complicate the interview process.

By simply asking questions in a different way, you can find out the information you really want to know (ie the candidate’s suitability for the role) without asking the interviewee to divulge information about their personal life (that you don’t need to make a decision).

The exception to these guidelines is when there is an occupational requirement for a role, when an employer can objectively justify why a specific type of candidate is required, eg a religious organisation may stipulate that only candidates of that religion should apply, if it is a genuine requirement of the role.

  1. Place of Birth, Ethnicity or Religion

Employers should steer clear completely of any questions regarding a candidate’s birthplace, background or religious affiliation. If an applicant has an unusual name, don’t ask about its origin, as the answer could possibly be grounds for discrimination.

While it is legal to ask about ethnic background on application forms, this is for monitoring purposes only and usually anonymous, and should never be brought up in an interview.

You may want to ask about religious practices to find out about any scheduling conflicts around weekends or religious holidays, but you should never ask a candidate about their beliefs. Instead, simply confirm they are able to work when they will be required to.

Don’t ask: What country are you from? Where were you born?

Do ask: Are you eligible to work in the UK?

Don’t ask: What is your native language?

Do ask: This job requires someone who speaks more than one language. What languages are you fluent in?

Don’t ask: What religion do you practice? Which religious holidays do you observe?

Do ask: Can you work in the days/schedule required for this role?

  1. Marital Status, Children or Sexual Preference

Asking questions about someone’s children is usually just making conversation, but not appropriate in an interview setting. You cannot ask a candidate if they are planning a family, if they are pregnant or about their childcare arrangements.

This also applies to questions about marital status, which could be grounds for discrimination, as some employers may believe that married employees are more stable, or single people may have more time to devote to the job.

Any mention of an applicant’s sexual preference should also obviously be avoided.

Don’t ask: Do you have or plan to have children?

Do ask: Are you available to work overtime on occasion? Can you travel?

Don’t ask: How many children do you have? Do you have childcare arrangements in place if we need you to work out of hours?

Do ask: This job may require some overtime work on short notice. Is this a problem for you? What days/hours are you available to work?

Don’t ask: Is this your maiden name?

Do ask: Are any of your references or qualifications under another name?

Don’t ask: If you went on maternity leave, would you come back to work afterwards?

Do ask: What are your long term career goals?

  1. Gender or Age

Steer clear of any questions that reference a candidate’s age or gender. You should certainly ask about their ability to handle the challenges of the role, but never imply that their gender or age may affect this.

The only question regarding age which is acceptable is to establish whether they are of the minimum age required for the role. A prime example of what not to say to an applicant would be to ask of someone in their sixties, “and how many more years do you see yourself in the workforce?”

Don’t ask: We’ve always had a woman/man in this role. How do you think you will handle it?

Do ask: What can you bring to this role?

Don’t ask: How do you feel about managing men/women?

Do ask: Tell me about your previous experience of managing staff.

Don’t ask: How old are you?

Do ask: Are you over the age of 18?

Don’t ask: How much longer do you plan to work before you retire?

Do ask: What are your long term career goals?

Don’t ask: When did you graduate?

Do ask: Do you have a degree or other qualification related to this role?

  1. Location

It is very common in interviews to ask about commuting distances and times, to make sure the candidate will be able to get to work on time. However, this can be difficult to judge, as how far people are willing to commute varies wildly. Some employees are willing to travel for over an hour, while others think 20 minutes is too long.

In addition, asking someone about where they live could create discrimination issues if it is in a neighbourhood heavily populated by a specific ethnic group or social class.

Don’t ask: How far would your commute be?

Do ask: Are you able to start work at 9am?

  1. Disability or Illness

Interviewers should be careful around any questions related to illness. Asking a candidate to explain any gaps in their CV due to long term sick leave is acceptable, but asking directly if they have any health conditions is not.

Questioning a person over a disability and whether or not it would affect their ability to do the job is grounds for disability discrimination.

Don’t ask: How many sick days did you take last year?

Do ask: How many unscheduled days of work did you miss last year?

  1. Lifestyle Choices

An employer cannot ask an interviewee whether they smoke or how much alcohol they consume. While an employer can set rules for professional conduct and substance use at work, what an employee does in their own time should have no bearing on whether they are suitable for the job.

While you can ask about criminal records on an application form, it’s generally not a good idea to bring it up at interview. Likewise, while some roles require a CRB check, you cannot discuss the findings in a job interview.

Questions about political affiliations or group memberships should not be asked during interviews, unless they are relevant to the role in question. Although you might want to find out if they are involved in any activities that may have an impact on their time commitments, it is better to simply ask if they are able to commit to the role.

Don’t ask: Do you belong to any clubs or organisations?

Do ask: Are you a member of any professional group that’s relevant to this role?

Don’t ask: Are you a member of the Territorial Army/Special Constabulary/Other Volunteer Force?

Do ask: Do you have any upcoming commitments that would require extensive time away from work?

  1. Height or Weight

Questions about a candidate’s weight or height are also best avoided unless there are certain minimum or maximum requirements required for the role.

Don’t ask: How tall are you?

Do ask: Are you able to reach items on a shelf that’s five feet tall?

Don’t ask: How much do you weigh?

Do ask: Are you able to lift boxes weighing up to 50 pounds?

This information is for guidance purposes only and not legal advice.

What Your CV Can Do For You!

CV

Now that the economy has picked up, it is once again critical that your basic tools in looking for a job are ready to go, and more importantly that they do what they are meant to do.

Your CV is just one of these tools.  It is not your biography – it is your main selling document.  It clearly sets out your achievements in previous jobs so that employers can see quickly what you could do for them.

The aim of your CV is to get to the next stage, whether that’s an interview, a meeting, a phone conversation or an e-mail dialogue.  Very often it is your first chance to show what you can offer; you might give it to a potential employer at a first meeting, or send it to employers, agencies or recruiters as a direct approach or in response to a job ad.

You can also use it before and during interviews, and once hired employers can use it as a reference point to see your potential, based on your past experiences and education.

It is important to know that there is no single ‘perfect CV’. It is more a question of what works best in your industry and in your situation, so that is worth checking out.  That said, there are some common rules that should be considered:

  • Number of pages – the norm is two pages – think about the reader and ensure content is applicable to the role on offer
  • Make your CV stand out – your CV may be one of hundreds on someone’s desk. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. You need to market yourself in terms of how you can benefit their organisation.
  • Make your CV as easy to read as possible – The reader is asking themselves two basic questions, so write your CV to show them that you will
    • Can you do this role
    • Will you fit in
  • Think about the layout
  • Spelling and grammar – ensure that your CV is perfect

So, your CV is your product brochure and its function is to interest the person looking at it sufficiently to grant you an interview.   You need to remember that people tend to read as little as possible and that your CV will have to do its job in perhaps a very small amount of time.

If you feel you need support with your CV, please give Mary a call on 086 8225448 or email her at mryan@righthandhr.ie.  Mary has recruited at a very senior level, and has many insights that may help you.

Benefits of Psychometric Testing in Selection Process

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Definition:

‘A psychological test is any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person’s capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways’ The British Psychological Society

Put simply, psychometric means ‘mental measurement’, so a psychometric test can measure aspects of the individual such as ability, personality, motivation, competencies, behaviours and interests.

Benefits:

Some of the benefits of using psychometric tests as part of the interview/selection process are:

  • Objective – not influenced by personal feelings or opinions
  • Systematic – working to a fixed plan
  • Reliable – able to be trusted, because they are consistent across administrations and sample groups
  • Valid – measures of what the tests set out to measure

The candidate benefits from:

  • Equality and fairness of treatment for all test takers.
  • All candidates are being assessed against each other, under controlled conditions, regardless of gender, diversity of background or age

The company benefits as testing can help them:

  • Identify the candidates with the potential to fit job demands and be high performers (recruitment, selection, and promotion)
  • Reduce time, costs and mismatches in recruitment and selection
  • Clearly demonstrate fairness and equal opportunities for all

Why Use Selection Tests:

The rationale behind using tests in selection is the better an individual performs on a test, the better that individual will perform in the workplace.  The skills tested must be specifically applicable in the job. For instance when looking for a PA it would not be appropriate to test for mechanical or spatial ability.

Tests should not be used on their own, as a sole basis for hiring people, but should form part of the selection process.

 Types of Selection Tests:

There are 100’s of tests available so the company needs to select the most appropriate test for the skills they are looking for.

  • Intelligence/Ability tests
  • The Golden Triangle – looks at job analysis, person specification for the role and candidate Test results
  • General Ability Tests (GAT)
  • Aptitude tests
  • Critical Reasoning Tests
  • Personality Tests
  • Work Style Tests – Thomas international Personal Profile, Hogan
  • Work Style Inventory – DISC

Note:  The word ‘test’ is generic: Some tests are not tests per se, so can be interchanged with words like questionnaire, inventory, tool, assessment or instrument.

HR Nugget – Getting a Job is Hard Work

Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. At the bottom of this page, you can share this subscription with others or unsubscribe yourself. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

Getting a Job is Hard Work

Getting a Job is Hard Work Many people who apply for jobs but don’t get them assume there was some external force acting against them; they think the interviewer didn’t like them, or that they were over-qualified. That may be true in some cases, but more often than not it’s down to one of the following 4 pitfalls that are so easy to avoid.

1. Your CV needs work Over 90% of CVs are not up to scratch. Too wordy, too boring, too untidy, or just too many errors. People can still get jobs with poor CVs, but why not make it world class? All the resources to do this are at your disposal. You can ask for as much help as possible, but it takes time, hard work and application. If I could give you one piece of advice, above and beyond having no spelling mistakes, it would be to tell them what you do well rather than just what you do. As the reader of a CV, all I need to know is if you are good, not how much you’ve done.

2. You need to do the work Sending a CV to a company or a recruitment agency saying: “here is my CV, can you find me a job?” just will not work. If you are not directly applying for a specific job, your CV could easily get lost in the crowd. Know what you want to do; if you don’t, get career guidance before you look for a job. Apply for specific jobs relevant to what you want and then follow up with a phone call. No one can work harder in getting you a job than you. Own as much of the process as you can. On top of this, realise that over 50% of jobs are not advertised so network with friends and colleagues to try and hear about opportunities.

3. No interview preparation Most people don’t like interviews but that is no excuse for not practicing. Have you mastered anything without planning and practice? Most of the questions can be predicted – ‘talk me through your cv’, ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’, ‘how would others describe you?’, ‘why do you want to work here?’, ‘do you have any questions for us?’. Prepare, not just to yourself but in front of a mirror, or recording yourself on your phone. Practice helps enormously, but most people don’t want to put in the time and effort.

4. Attitude and enthusiasm We all like enthusiastic people, we are even more likely to forgive them more and give them a second chance. Companies also love people who come across as motivated and enthusiastic about the job. No matter how you feel at the beginning of the day, make sure you go into the interview with a positive frame of mind. You would be amazed how quickly you can do this. For some people it can be thinking of a great memory, a son or daughter, or a picture they have on their wall. For others it’s exercise or a beach walk – but do whatever you need to do to ensure that when you walk into that room you are at your best.

Getting a job is hard work. Put in the time and effort and do everything you can to get that job, no matter what gets in your way. If you need help, contact Mary

HR Nugget – Tips in How to Select the Right Candidate for the Role

Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. At the bottom of this page, you can share this subscription with others or unsubscribe yourself. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

The single most important decision for managers is selecting the right employee for the right job. Selecting the right employee doesn’t just happen; it takes preparation, thought and work.
Recruiting can often be a hard and drawn out process and choosing the ideal candidate for a position in your company can often be a challenging process.

Taking the time to make sure the right employee is in the job has a direct effect on business performance and staff turn around.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process of finding the right candidate for your vacancy:

  1. Have a clear view of the specific job.
  2. Good interviewing is about being focussed, listening and verifying your thoughts. Study and write out questions specifically aimed at uncovering the presence of those characteristics for the ideal fit to the role – competency based interviews or CBI’s are becoming a common route to determining such attributes.
  3. Start the interview with less demanding questions and build up to the more pressured ones.  This helps put the candidate at ease and allows you to ask more probing questions later.
  4. Move past what’s on paper and don’t let a glowing CV lower your guard. Just because a candidate has the experience to set them apart from other applicants doesn’t necessarily mean they have the on the job skills.
  5. It is helpful to have a second opinion. Have a member of your team sit in on the interview. Very often they may have picked up on something you have not.
  6. Follow up on supplied references. This is often brushed aside however it is an important step. Star candidates have been known to supply references of previous employers who have fired them!!
  7. Listen to your instincts. As people we feel a certain chemistry in any new relationship and this new “manager/employee” relationship is also subject to those gut instincts.
  8. Consider company culture. While it is important to find a candidate who fits perfectly into a position it is equally important they fit the culture of the company. Your candidates are living, breathing people – focus on getting to know them in more ways than one.
  9. Finally remember the candidate may not be applying to your role exclusively – If the right candidate comes along do not procrastinate and offer them the role.