A number of technology companies are planning to hire more “emo” employees. Yes, long gone are the days when corporations based their hiring practices solely on technical skills and know-how.
Nowadays, high-tech companies are putting more emphasis on personality traits like maturity, and the ability to get along with others.
“It’s a different type of skill set than the traditional command-and-control personality,” Kelly Kay, a partner with recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles, told MarketWatch.
“They’re looking for a more subtle, sophisticated type, someone who is an influencer.”
Among the companies fueling the trend are HP, Cisco, Dell, EMC, and Oracle, all companies that require well-balanced and versatile employees that can help them sell a wider range of new products and expand into new markets.
Another driving factor is that more companies are developing matrix organizations, where multiple employees have to work together to create a consensus on budget, decisions, and day-to-day operations, rather than single leader management.
“In a matrix, you have to be a team player to get anything done,” said Kay.
For this very reason, companies are looking for candidates with intangible skills like a high “EQ,” or emotional quotient.
No, recruiters won’t ask you to watch Free Willy to see if you cry or not, instead they will ask you to undergo psychometric testing to identify if you a candidate with a compatible personality profile.
These tests measure thinking style, personal values, and emotional intelligence.
It does make it harder on recruiters, though. Instead of being tasked with finding a candidate with a matching skill set, they are now asked to do this, plus find someone that can be compatible and fit in with the company’s thinking.
“Measuring the intangible skill set is the harder part of the equation,”explained Steve Winings, the Korn/Ferry partner who led the tech company Polycom’s hiring quest.
”More clients are now asking for that.”
There is even distinction put on whether the company is looking for a leader or a follower, “I ask clients whether they are planning an evolution or a revolution… You need a strong leader to pull off a revolution.”
So you want a strong leader who’s compassionate yet tyrannical? Revolutionary yet meek? Sounds harsher than a picky girl on OK Cupid.
Although this trend may seem a bit far fetched, personality has always been an important hiring factor.
Technical skills can only get someone so far until they interview and the hiring team determines whether the person will or will not be a good fit.