Fact or Fiction: Companies Will Soon Move Away From IQ and EQ Testing

EQ, IQ, AQ—what’s the difference, and why should it matter to your recruiting efforts? While the concept of IQ is probably familiar, and perhaps even emotional intelligence (EQ), the new term to know is AQ.  

Here’s why AQ is hot in IT recruiting and why your HR teams should be paying attention to this new workforce measurement. 

Understanding EQ, IQ, and AQ 

The concept of IQ, or intelligent quotient, is a standardized scientific measurement of cognitive intelligence that has been around since the 1930s. But where IQ is a reflection of our cognitive learning skills, EQ seeks to measure our ability to read human reactions and respond in an emotionally appropriate way. Both IQ and EQ are crucial in the kinds of collaborative technology environments typical in the workplace today.  

PsychCentral suggests EQ includes some of the standard soft skills that HR teams search for, including: 

  • Self-awareness 
  • Self-control 
  • Motivation 
  • Empathy 
  • Social skills 

While hiring teams should look closely at what the candidate knows about a job (IQ), they also should focus on how the candidate will collaborate with others in a team environment (EQ). But there is a third element that we believe recruiters should screen. Let’s call it the AQ. 

What is the AQ, and How Does it Matter? 

AQ is also science, but it measures the scope of human tenacity. People with high AQ can handle what life throws at them. They are tenacious, goal-getters, no matter the odds. From everyday hassles to big life problems, candidates with a high AQ tough it out—no matter how tough it is. 

Why does having resilience matter, particularly in the technology field? Should employers test more for AQ, IQ, or EQ? In IT, the answer is that all of these characteristics matter. However, a developer that lacks AQ will not be able to handle the changes that the industry is going to throw at us in the next decade. The pace of technology is hyper-accelerating, and only those companies that can handle the disruption will succeed. Candidates lacking the perseverance to learn, adjust, fail, and keep trying, are the ones your organization needs to be successful in a digital world. That’s precisely why screening for AQ is so essential in the IT world. But how can HR teams scout for these candidate characteristics? 

In recruiting, there are standardized AQ tests in addition to EQ and IQ. Homegrown testing can require a pressure-filled scenario, like a whiteboard developer test or a role play for a project manager. Select behavioral screening questions that share the story of a past life experience that illustrated overcoming adversity to reach a goal. You can also screen resumes for a grouping of short-term roles that could indicate a tendency to flee the scene when the going gets hard.  

Talk with the hiring team at The Custom Group of Companies.

We have top of the line candidates that can persevere and lead your team through the next phase of digital disruption. Contact us today!

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