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Screening for Emotional Intelligence in Candidates Seeking Temporary Placements


Did you ever visit a national brand store and wonder why you were treated so poorly by a customer service representative? This tends to be more common during peak holiday seasons when representatives feel overwhelmed by shopping crowds. However, this is the same time of year that customers form lasting impressions of a national brand store, which they may not frequent except during the holiday season. At a minimum, we hope that people who work with the public can adapt their interpersonal communication styles to support the culture of their employer. Otherwise, they could drive customers away. What’s more, they may have a hard time working with other employees and fitting into the workplace culture.

Why Recruit Candidates With Emotional Intelligence

We believe that hiring candidates with the right soft skills is good for business. By emotional intelligence, we mean qualities such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and people skills. It’s appropriate even for organizations seeking employees through temporary placements. While you may be new to recruitment outsourcing, you want temporary employees and permanent employees to fit into your current business culture. Here’s what we look for in candidates:

1. We determine if applicants have the right kinds of emotional intelligence.

When we work on behalf of organizations and recruit new hires, we need some understanding of the types of workplace conditions they will face. It could be that they will serve the public in the context described above or that they will face tight deadlines on a software development team. We hire for each recruit’s ability to manage his or her emotions and to understand the emotional needs of colleagues and customers.

2. We find recruits who will help the client organization maintain a positive culture. 

While a candidate may appear to understand the emotions of other people, workplace conditions can produce negative emotions. For example, a boss could overload employees with daily tasks and deadlines, and they could begin to resent their roles as senior workers. These individuals may try to delegate some of their work to temporary employees without their boss’s knowledge. Studies have shown that jobs high in negative emotion will lead to frustration and burnout. That’s because people will only work so long while feeling dissatisfied with a job. Temporary placements are often a viable solution for managers who have lost key employees to burnout.

3. We verify all references. 

As part of online recruiting, some recruits will successfully complete a background check through a third-party service, especially if they have no criminal background and a long employment history. We know that it’s important to contact each recruit’s most recent supervisors personally. It’s how we get a sense of how they behave in the workplace now, not ten years ago.

4. We help employers take calculated risks. 

After interviewing a recruit, we may feel that a person has great potential. It’s tempting to hire that person on the spot. If we become aware of risks to hiring an individual, we consider what the costs will be to your business. Some employees will work very hard for a small business owner given the chance, especially if they are returning to the workforce after incarceration, a long period of higher education, or military service. With temporary placements, our clients can hire recruits on a trial basis and limit their interactions with customers and employees until they are confident of their “fit.”

5. We seek candidates who will support your business values, beliefs, and standard practices. 

We are in the business of recruiting people who match the job description for a particular employer. With temporary placements, we find people who can mesh with your current culture. They aren’t intended to shake things up in ways that will help your company grow. They are there to get the job done until you can make more permanent arrangements for personnel. We may ask candidates about their beliefs on different workplace topics, such as employee dress codes, email etiquette, advancement opportunities, and customer service practices. These kinds of questions can help us eliminate candidates who would not successfully represent your organization.

When you decide to outsource recruitment, you will immediately get access to our HR experts. In this kind of business relationship, it’s up to us to determine if temporary recruits fit your organizational culture and whether they can meet the needs of your customers with appropriate soft skills. For more details on hiring us to recruit temporary workers, please contact us today.