The Case for Emotional Intelligence in Recruiting and Staffing

by Amy Bingham

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of emotional intelligence, and in particular, its relevance and importance to those who excel in the staffing industry.

Simply put, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to read people’s emotions and respond in the most appropriate manner to get the best results from interactions with others. For many, EQ is inherent in their DNA and just comes naturally. For others, it doesn’t come as naturally, and they must work harder at honing it.

The staffing industry is unique in that it’s truly a people business. We have three groups of people we’re constantly interacting with throughout the day, every day: co-workers, clients, and candidates/contractors. Those interactions can either result in stronger internal collaboration and positive working relationships – or have the reverse effect.

You can be a top performer in the staffing industry without engaging your EQ, but it’s a challenge, and you’ll likely damage relationships along the way (think about that salesperson in your firm everyone dislikes but tolerates because he performs at a high level). On the other hand, those in business who recognize the importance of their EQ are those most likely to rise to leadership roles. These are the owners of independent staffing firms whose employees rally around and wouldn’t dream of leaving. These are the managers and executives of global firms whose vision and spirit are contagious and inspirational to others in the industry.

So, how important really is EQ to professional success? According to Staffing Industry Analysts, a recent study revealed that 30% of managers feel employers put “too little emphasis” on emotional intelligence during the hiring process, and 43% identified “increased motivation and morale” as one of the greatest benefits of having an emotionally intelligent staff. Findings like these reinforce the importance of fostering EQ in staffing leaders and recruiters, as higher EQ ultimately leads to a happier and more productive workforce.

If you’re in the recruiting and staffing business, it’s time to learn the power of emotional intelligence and how it can support your success. Making EQ a top priority in all your hiring and training procedures will ensure you employ recruiters who know how to work well with co-workers, candidates, and most importantly, your clients!


Bingham Consulting Professionals LLC