Interesting EmuTimo: Ever heard about Intelligence Quotient?
Jarmo: Of course, yes.
Timo: Yeah i thought so. I think most of us would have!!
Timo: OK then, how about emotional quotient?
Jarmo: Sounds vaguely familiar. Though don’t know what that means.
Timo: Alright. How about this – Spiritual Quotient?
Jarmo: Spiritual…what?

This dialogue between two colleagues isn’t that uncommon. Our society has placed an extraordinary importance, in the past, on Intelligence Quotient, that we all think, the one with he highest IQ is the best. Actually, as you might have guessed already, it isn’t the case and certainly it isn’t something that employers look for while they choose a new candidate. Most employers look at a potential candidates personality  by looking at 4 important attributes – Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient, Spiritual Quotient and Ego.

Intelligence Quotient:

A straight forward number that explains how intelligent our brain is. It assess how good one’s critical thinking is and how quickly one can think of technical solutions to unknown problems as and when they arise. I take that most of us are aware of this term and there isn’t much i need to explain about it.

Emotional Quotient:

It is defined as a Quotient, though it isn’t a number. Most of the times, Emotional quotient is judged by psychometric analysis, by providing the candidate with a list of questions, some of which could be repetitive, and assessing the responses to those questions.  The responses can be grouped into 3 or 4 groups, that provides, for example, a high, medium or low EQ rating. What actually is measured correlates to the ability to be responsive to others and to work as a team. It shows if a person would lose for a bigger cause and be assertive when needed. The interest here is understand if the personality would suit the job and how the person would possibly respond and react during a crisis. Some people with very high IQ sometimes showcase very less EQ and this is perfectly normal.

Spiritual Quotient:

Spiritual Quotient on the other hand is an instrument to showcase deeper understanding about the self and the environment. A person with questions such as “what am i doing here” and “who am i” is expected to have a higher spiritual quotient than a person who answers them saying, “I, know what i am doing here – i cut trees” and “i know who i am – i am James Carringer”. James Carringer, the tree-feller might have high IQ and possibly a good EQ, but his SQ is close to zero. A person with a high spiritual quotient is always more mature than what his peers of the same age would be. The SQ does not originate from the brain, but rather from the mind, the consciousness. In a job, a person with no or very less experience but a high SQ can easily scale the challenges and would definitely deliver as they tend to understand the bigger picture quite easily.


The fourth attribute of a personality that employers may be interested in is ego. Ego has various definitions, but in modern terms, it is used to express arrogance and selfishness of a person. Ego, as it sounds, doesn’t help the organisation in most scenarios. It destroys team bonding and surely an egoistic person cannot posses very high EQ or SQ. That said, a person with very low ego will not be able to survive the rigorous business environment while dealing with clients or suppliers. A certain level of ego is required, but it is very subjective and expressed only at necessary situations.

How they all link up?

An interesting article from live positive compares IQ, EQ and SQ as “IQ primarily solves logical problems. EQ allows us to judge the situation we are in and behave appropriately. SQ allows us to ask if we want to be in that situation in the first place.” Many successful CEOs have commented about the use of EQ and SQ in recruitment of their candidates.

Ricardo Semler, of Semco Industries, comments that when he recruits a candidate he would always look for all four of these attributes and try and evaluate them by adding up all the three quotients and then subtracting the person’s ego. It has always worked well for him and his success shows how good his ideas are.

Many MBA programs from leading universities have now declared that they will have a course on EQs as a part of their curriculum. It wouldn’t be too long before they start teaching SQ as well. After all, business is not only about profit margins instead it is how we can make everyone live happily for a long time.

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2 Responses to “What employers look for in a candidate”

  1. On a related note, I had a lecture last weekend by a coach who used a few new ideas with businesses. One of them was using these cards, 24 in total each representing a character strength from the Values in Action strengths program. She said she had some trepidation about using this ‘soft’ technique in the hard cold world of business, and thought it might not be accepted well. But in the end, the card representing ‘spirituality’ was the one that people chose the most as reflecting themselves.

    I thought that was pretty interesting, not only because maybe businesses are opening up to new ideas but also how many people in business thought of themselves as being spiritual.

    • Hi Warren,

      That’s very interesting to know. I believe the natural tendency of humans who are interested in acquiring more knowledge is to align themselves towards spirituality. It’s not only because science doesn’t provide them answers for all questions but straight away dismisses some of the “weird theories” as baseless and impossible , while spirituality atleast gives them an opportunity to think that weird theory is possible.

      I read a book called “the problem of rebirth” by Aurobindo and he wonderfully lists why the scientific mind is tempted to learn about spirituality. I find (again its just me) science to be very restrictive, because it is formulated by our restrictive mind. I may be totally wrong – only time will tell. So in a way, i might be temped to say i not very surprised by the result you mentioned.

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