This paper analyses data on individuals working in the Human Resources (HR) sector who completed the Emotional Intelligence Profile (EIP), an online self-report questionnaire.

The results show the HR sector were somewhat higher in Emotional Intelligence (EI) than most other job sectors; in particular they scored strongly on interpersonal aspects of EI such as valuing others, empathy, and connecting with others. However, alongside this strength was a tendency for this sector to be more submissive or benevolent, have lower self-confidence, be less assertive, and overtrusting. This may impact on the HR sector’s capacity for progressing to senior leadership roles that expand their strategic influence within organisations. For example, research shows that the HR sector has a strong appreciation for the benefit that EI can bring to organisations (90% of respondents) yet has had far less success at including EI within their organisations’ development programmes (30% of respondents).

Since a peak in 2012, the HR sector’s EI scores dropped significantly to 2015. This is a worrying trend that may indicate lowering morale and engagement, which may be the result of substantial changes and size reduction for HR departments in later years. It may be seen as incumbent upon HR professionals to practice what they preach and to demonstrate the highest standards of EI in their own personal development. If the HR sector is to become consistently strong and less susceptible to the ups and downs of organisational change, it must not only be good at the softer interpersonal aspects, but also the harder self-management components of Emotional Intelligence.

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About the author

Jo Maddocks | Chief Psychologist, PSI Talent Management

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Jo’s area of expertise is in developing and applying Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. He particularly enjoys creating new products and resources that help individuals, teams and organisations to improve. Jo has been in charge of creating and developing tools such as the Emotional Intelligence Profile (EIP), Team Emotional Intelligence Profile (TEIP) and the Leadership Climate Indicator (LCI). Icon---LinkedIn_Updated