Intelligence testing has been, by far, considered to be one of the greatest successes in the history of psychology. However, the term Intelligence Quotient (or IQ) has been misinterpreted several times. A person’s IQ is directly correlated with their “smartness” and “wittiness”. However, that assumption and explanation of IQ is incorrect. Therefore, we must first begin by clarifying the defining the definition of “Intelligence”.
Intelligence, in simple terms and as defined in psychology, refers to a person’s ability to adapt with the environment. It determines a person’s ability to learn, make abstractions, reason and deal with new and changing situations. This definition clarifies why intelligence testing in the selection process is important. But it is not solely a predictor of success on the job.
With the changing times in the larger world in general and the mini world within organizations, more specifically, just testing IQ is not enough. In fact, IQ testing in the hiring process, especially in managerial and leadership roles is becoming redundant. Emotional and moral intelligence is becoming increasingly important to test during the selection process. According to an article by Forbes, 85% of financial success is due to human engineering skills like EQ and MQ and only 15% is due to technical expertise.
Emotional Intelligence (denoted as EQ) is the person’s ability to understand and regulate emotions experienced by self and flex behaviors by doing so for others. Work productivity largely depends on interpersonal effectiveness, customer relationships and self-management. Further, workplaces are becoming extremely stressful with the rapidly changing economy and market and reduction in resources and workforces leading to one person doing multiple tasks.
To strive and keep the motivation going in these situations, EQ becomes more important than IQ. One can process information and reason only when they are emotionally stable and are not under a feeling of stress and threat. The amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex areas of the brain needs to work together to complete any task. If emotions are not regulated, information processing and decision making will be affected.
Like intelligence testing, EQ has also become easier to measure with psychometric assessments. There are several tools like the EMOTION assessment and the Agile EQ assessments that can used to assess EQ and emotional regulation tendencies/mindsets of employees.
The second most important aspect to measure apart from intelligence testing is Moral intelligence. It refers to an individual’s ability to differentiate between right and wrong. It also means that one acts in a way that is aligned to their ethical values and convictions. Needless to say, ethics and values have a large role to play in every organization. Who wants to hire employees who do not work ethically? However, unlike EQ and IQ, measuring a person’s MQ is difficult. One assessment that can still help to assess counterproductive work behavior is ETIX.
Apart from IQ, EQ and MQ, the fourth type of intelligence that is gaining extreme importance is Body Intelligence. It refers to a person’s ability to be aware of one’s bodily sensations and use that awareness to work on overall health and well-being. People with high BQ will show fewer psychological and physiological symptoms related to stress and burn-out. This type of intelligence is also difficult to assess directly and maybe, recruiters can gauge this during interviews.
The need for most of the organizations is to move beyond Intelligence Testing in the selection process and focus more on a complete profile that provides the IQ, EQ, MQ and BQ assessment results of an individual. This will increase the accuracy and chances of “good” hires and decrease issues related with personality – organization misfit.