Understanding Emotional Equity When You're Hiring Top Performers

Nov 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

"Emotional equity" is a term I use to explain something that I realize exists, but that most hiring managers do not. The problem is that most hiring managers I deal with are not only unaware of the term, but they’re also unaware of the concepts.

"Emotional equity" refers to the degree to which a candidate you’re trying to hire will accept your offer for less money because he or she "feels" really good about your position.

This does not mean that the candidate will take less money than he or she originally wanted, but it refers to the fact that they don’t ask for more money than they really need or want because of your hiring process.

Allow me to provide a brief example to illustrate my point:

Let’s say you interview a candidate multiple times over a two-week period. As the candidate leaves your final interview, they feel really good about you, your team, and your position. Mentally, they are prepared to accept your position should you offer it at $95,000. The candidate is thinking that, if you want them, you will probably make an offer within the next few business days. But you don’t make an offer within the next few days.

Two weeks go by, during which time there’s no communication with the candidate. The candidate can’t figure out what’s going on, because the interview process seemed to go so well. The candidate begins to wonder if this was the right position for them after all. How could they think it went so well and yet not heard back from you?

When you finally call the candidate, they still feel as though they want your position but they’re not as sure about everything. This doubt was brought on by your delay and lack of communication. So when you ask the candidate what they need to join your team, they tell you $100,000. You have to pay an extra $5,000 to make them feel good enough to accept your position — because you lost their emotional equity.

In this example, you had $5,000 in emotional equity. The reality is, if the candidate was willing to accept the position for $95,000 two weeks earlier, they don’t really need the money; rather, the money is something they want in order to feel like it’s really the right thing.

Understanding this concept can make a significant difference in being able to afford candidates who might be slipping away.

You may also like: Time Kills All Deals

General, Hiring, David Kushan


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