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It Is Time to Focus on Emotional Intelligence

February 14 2024 - Businesses and industries have been focusing on recruiting smart and intelligent workers and building strong teams based on competence and skills for many years. Over the past couple of years, however, that focus has shifted towards emotional intelligence or EI. More than half of today's HR specialists and hiring managers look for good emotional intelligence from potential candidates for all the right reasons. Deloitte predicted that soft skills jobs will make up 63% of all jobs by 2030.

According to Jainita Hogervorst, Director of the Dubai based Aerviva Aviation Consultancy:

"In the past, hard skills were often given more importance, but nowadays, in our fast-changing work world, other competencies are gaining prominence. These are the personal qualities and abilities that make us effective in the workplace. Think of them as the 'people skills' that help us work well with others. Whether you're a team player, an effective communicator, or someone who can navigate the twists and turns of a dynamic work environment, your soft skills are as valuable as any other tool in your professional toolbox,"

Potential employees with good EI can be expected to work better under pressure. They will also be able to handle criticism better, deal with problems and find suitable solutions more effectively and generally perform really well in various situations. All of these advantages are benefiting companies, especially in today's competitive market.

Jainita Hogervorst goes on to say:

"Usually, adaptability, communication, and emotional intelligence stand out. Adaptability means being flexible and open to change, which is crucial in today's fast-paced world, and especially in the aviation industry. For example, pilots, crew, and engineers require strong soft skills as they interact with passengers and ground staff to ensure seamless operations to and from destinations. Good communication helps us convey our ideas and understand others. Emotional intelligence lets us recognize and manage our own emotions and those of others, promoting positive relationships."

"It is important to mention that soft skills also boost innovation because people who can listen to others and share their ideas freely create a more creative environment. Companies see these benefits, and recent data, as mentioned above, show that they are giving more attention to this when recruiting. Companies believe they're harder to find than hard skills, so, as our world changes, soft skills are becoming increasingly valuable in the workplace," she added.

Evaluating soft skills

Soft skills can be difficult to measure in comparison with hard skills. Hogervorst suggests:

"Behavioral interviews are one way - in these interviews, candidates are asked to share real examples of how they handled situations in the past, revealing their problem-solving, communication, and teamwork abilities. Role-play scenarios can also help companies see how a candidate might act in specific job-related situations. Additionally, personality assessments provide insights into a person's traits and how they might fit into a team. Lastly, reference checks and asking for examples from a candidate's past experiences can give companies valuable information about their soft skills, helping them make better recruitment decisions,"

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