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More than half of IT Employers Value Emotional Intelligence over IQ, According to Survey

23 Aug, 2011

CHICAGO, IL  - AUGUST 22, 2011 – With smaller staffs, higher stress levels and uncertainties around the economy, are IT employers changing what they look for in prospective employees? More than one-third (37 percent) said they are placing a greater emphasis on high emotional intelligence for hiring and promotion decisions post-recession, according to a recent survey from Sologig.com, CareerBuilder’s employment site for technology jobs and contract workers. Fifty-two percent of employers value emotional intelligence in their employees more than IQ.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a general assessment of a person’s abilities to control emotions, to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions, and manage complex relationships. The national survey –conducted May 19 to June 8, 2011, with 195 IT hiring managers and human resource professionals – reveals that EI is a critical characteristic for landing a job and advancing one’s career.

Fifty-five percent of IT employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI. For IT workers being considered for a promotion, the high EI candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate in most cases – 61 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker.

“The data helps unravel the myth that the best IT professionals are smart people locked to their computer screens,” said Jamie Carney, senior product director of Sologig.com. “Technical competency is a must, but when it’s down to you and another candidate for a promotion or new job, it’s dynamic interpersonal skills that will set you apart. Emotional intelligence is a sign of leadership and the ability to be a team player – that’s the type of worker most IT managers want.”       

When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, IT employers said (in order of importance):
• Employees [with high EI] know how to resolve conflict effectively
• Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions
• Employees are more likely to stay calm under pressure
• Employees lead by example
• Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly

IT human resource managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ EI by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:
• They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues • They admit and learn from their mistakes
• They listen as much or more than they talk
• They show grace under pressure
• They take criticism well

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 195 U.S. IT hiring managers (non-government) between May 19, 2011 and June 8, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 195 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 7.02 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About Sologig.com
Sologig is an employment website that connects consultants specializing in technology and other fields with top employers in need of contract workers or permanent staff. Users can also post résumés, sign up for automatic job alerts and take advantage of job search management tools.

Sologig is a division of CareerBuilder, the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit


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