In reading the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, emotional intelligence is “described” as being “the most important emerging soft skill heading into 2020.”

From a procurement standpoint, during an interview Supply Chain VP Taras Korec identified emotional intelligence as “one of the most crucial soft skills for everyone in the field, from the analyst level up to the VP level.” In emphasising his point, he then said that he would instead hire “based on attitude and emotional intelligence rather than hard skills.” Make a note of this last point, because it will become important as you read further.

The reason for his enthusiasm for EQ is that one who possesses it can;

  1. better deal with pressure
  2. facilitate a higher level of internal cooperation
  3. positively use feedback to fuel self-improvement
  4. improve leadership skills, and
  5. Possess better decision-making and adaptability skills.

I do not think that anyone reading the above would disagree with Taras’ position.

However, the real issue isn’t one of consensus, but the best way to identify and hire candidates who possess said EQ skills.

Do resumes matter?

Okay, I am purposely controversial by posing the question; do resume’s matter?

Let’s face it, with automation and AI including keyword matching that enables HR teams to gather a windfall of resumes through a single keystroke or bullion search; resumes do matter. After all activity – great activity is a sign of productivity, and an effective way to identify individual EQ, isn’t it?

“I’m not impressed by your education or your designation. I want to know what you’ve done, what you know how to do and what you want to learn.” – Mark Raffan

In a recent LinkedIn post, Content Callout’s Mark Raffan lamented “I’ve received over 500 applications over the last week for 2 jobs I posted. Most of them focus on education and are light on what they’ve actually done and what benefits they drove.”

He then went on to write how these resumes all said the same things including “I went to XYZ fancy university and got a honors with a triple major in this crazy stuff,” and “I have 3 designations in ABC.” He concluded by saying “I don’t care” about any of these things because they say nothing. In other words, they are no more an indication of a candidate’s ability to do the job than this morning’s weather report.

So, what does he look for in a candidate? What information “really matters?”

In this regard, he said that I want to know “What have you done and what measurable benefits did that stuff drive, what do you know how to do, and what do you want to learn? That’s what I care about!”

Focus on the right metrics

For most recruitment teams, Mark’s comments – who by the way is part of a growing and vociferous movement within the procurement world regarding checkbox hiring practices, is going to be challenging to accept.

Part of the challenge is that many internal hiring teams are general practitioners who are hiring for multiple departments and positions within a diverse and in many cases, expansive enterprise.

Because these hiring teams are not specialised in the areas for which they are searching and ultimately assessing a candidate’s ability to do the job many continue to rely on simple metrics while analysing hiring data to understand how their adverts are performing. But as mark stated, 500 responses does not mean he is any closer to finding the right two people for the open positions. He might even suggest that having to sift through 500 “been there, heard that” resumes may lengthen the time between posting and finding the best and brightest.

Time to stop hunting resumes

Starting with hiring for senior positions, we must stop hunting resumes and start identifying quality candidates. In other words, shift from a quantity over quality mindset driven by “go-to” and “familiar” specifications to a quality over quantity targeted process.

By doing so, we will differentiate ourselves from every other company competing for talent in a highly competitive market where there are more jobs than people to fill them.