Emotional Intelligence and Recruitment…Three Cheers for The Abbeyfield Society
December 23rd, 2014
Due to my background and career choices, I’ve been interviewed more than most. A common reflection on so many of them has been the emphasis placed on experience and technical competencies, rather than an appraisal of me as a person, or on how/if I will fit in. In short, the focus has often been on whether I could do the job, at the expense of exploring whether I will do the job effectively (i.e. my motivations and fit with the team). On numerous occasions I’ve been told that my lack of success was primarily due to an insufficient number of years of experience. The quality and the learning of the experience I did have seemed secondary to an arbitrary number. On other occasions, I was told that while I outperformed other candidates in the ‘softer skills’, I lacked a key piece of technical ‘know how’. At times, this seemed short-sighted, as technical competencies can often be mastered far quicker than the emotional ones.
As mch’s focus has moved into staff development, I have fewer interviews. Indeed, I’m now more likely to be the interviewer, than the interviewee. However, given that management training and emotional intelligence form a core part of mch’s staff development work, my interest in recruitment has remained. Consequently, it was great to read a recent article about the housing and care charity, The Abbeyfield Society. The article highlighted that many of their job descriptions include emotionally intelligent additions such as; “time for talking and building an emotional connection.”
Sadly, I sense The Abbeyfield Society remains in a minority. However, if you are aware of more examples, I’d love to hear about them.