How to affordably test for Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the recruitment process

The latest research is unequivocal: emotional intelligence is critical for success in most roles in the workplace. And the more senior the role, the more critical a factor it is. But most organisations don’t test for EI at the recruitment stage. The Genos tool, specifically designed to assess job applicants, is a breakthrough.


With research showing Emotional Intelligence/Quotient (EI/EQ) having a substantial impact on workplace productivity, interpersonal effectiveness, leadership capability, sales performance, customer service and job satisfaction, it’s no wonder employers are paying more attention to EQ over IQ.


Importantly, the different conceptualisations of EQ are evolving to meet maturing business needs. Recent breakthroughs are creating new ways of measuring EQ and providing stronger toolsets for recruiters.


Some EQ measures have focussed on EQ ability, others on EQ personality traits, or a combination of both. Many organisations even deploy a personality test from which they derive an EQ capability – something that is open to wide variations and has marginal validity.


The Genos EI Assessment Scales take a completely different approach. The Genos tool doesn’t measure innate EI; instead, it looks at how frequently a person demonstrates emotionally intelligent workplace behaviours against the seven skills of EI - a candidate’s level of self-awareness, awareness of others, emotional expression, emotional management, emotional management of others, emotional reasoning and emotional control. This is because a person’s outward displays and behaviours at work have the most impact on their performance. And, from our client work, the HFL assessment team is completely convinced of its worth.


The design of the tool has two very significant advantages:


  • Ease of use: The Genos seven skills model is easy to explain to participants who then self-report their workplace behaviours. Because they have understood the process, it’s also easy to de-brief.


  • Broad application: By focusing on the workplace context, Genos - and the portfolio of reports available - has application not only for selection but also development. HFL is using the tool to great effect in our executive coaching programs.


Both inexpensive and easy to deploy, Genos effectively measures the stuff that really matters in the recruitment process. Crucially, it flags where candidates are good technically and have the experience required, but who may be challenged when it comes to EQ skills.


Given the far reaching costs of a poor hire, particularly in leadership roles, this is a breakthrough every organisation can benefit from.


The key features of Genos are:


  • Supported by extensive peer-reviewed psychological research showing meaningful correlations with a wide variety of outcomes such as leadership performance, job satisfaction and engagement
  • Extensive international benchmarks as well as Australian norms
  • Surpasses all industry standards for psychometric reliability and validity
  • Fast to complete - it takes just 20 minutes - making it easy to add to the battery of recruitment tests
  • Easily mapped to leadership and other capability frameworks, making it ideal for development
  • Two versions – the self-report that is used for recruitment, and multi-rater report for development, particularly with mid to senior leaders
  • Recognised by the prestigious Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.


To read more about Genos and EQ click here. For further information please contact Kirsty Allen at




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