EQ vs. IQ: Who Should You Hire?

In the recruiting world we are constantly searching for the perfect hire and often times it comes down to a culture fit. What is a culture fit and what plays into the culture fit? Perhaps it's about your emotional intelligence and how your emotions came across to the hiring managers. At the same time, a culture fit can be easily be weighed out against an education that suggests a high IQ. In this type a situation you are faced with a decision: IQ or EQ?


EQ or emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, others, and groups. IQ or intelligence quotient is a score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.

I was not introduced to Emotional Intelligence until my senior year of college, and I wish I could have taken the class sooner. If you are ever looking to read a self-help book that will truly change your life and make you look at things in a different perspective, I recommend reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by  Dr. Travis Bradberry. In this book, Travis breaks down the four EQ skills. The first two skills are personal skills that include self-awareness and self-management. With these skills, you are aware of your own emotions, how to manage them and how your emotions affect others. Your personal skills are not about stuffing your emotions away or turning them off because you are in a certain environment. It is about channeling your emotions in a way that is emotionally responsible.

On the social side of Emotional Intelligence, we are presented with social awareness and relationship management. Social awareness is about how you handle others' emotions and how aware you are to them. Your level of Emotional Intelligence helps you understand the communication of others both verbally and non-verbally. Relationship management is the king of all since it includes a collaboration from all previous skills mentioned.

Relationship management is all about your interpersonal communication skills. It’s all about your ability bring out the best out in others; it's about your ability to be an inspiration and influence. Relationship management within Emotional Intelligence depends on your ability to communicate and build bonds with others, and your ability to help them change, grow, develop, and resolve conflicts.


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Emotional Intelligence can greatly impact your work life and career, so it's important to understand exactly what it is and why it is so important. Every workplace is comprised of people with different strengths, personalities, and emotions, which can greatly affect the way they work.

IQ can be considered as a “traditional method” of determining intelligence capability. IQ tests are calculated by comparing the test taker's score to the scores of other people in the same age group. IQ is utilized in educational instances. Many years ago it was perceived that people with high IQ’s would be most successful in life, which can still be considered to be true in some instances. But with recent studies conducted comparing EQ and IQ it is relevant that IQ alone is not enough.

"IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else—including EQ." (Bressert, 2007)

Who would you hire? Someone with a higher EQ who can effectively establish relationships and manage effectively? Or someone with a high IQ who will be an effective individual contributor but may struggle if promoted into a managerial position because of a low EQ?

I challenge you to learn more about Emotional Intelligence; I promise that you will not be disappointed. You will flourish in all your relationships and have a better quality of life.


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