The Role of Emotional Intelligence on Recruitment Managers’ Work Performance in Different Phases of Recruitment – An Analysis of a Finnish Recruitment Company

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
Emotional intelligence has grown in popularity in the Finnish business world in recent years. Simultaneously, companies have started to outsource their recruitment processes to recruitment consultant companies of which are working in a highly competitive market. To succeed in competition, companies need to have something to differentiate them from others. The aim of my study is to analyse, what kind of role recruitment consultants’ emotional intelligence has on their job performance. The relations are studied in different phases of recruitment in Finnish recruitment consultant company. The literature chapter presents key studies from the field of emotional intelligence, job performance, and recruitment. EI is defined by Mayer and Salovey (1997) as the ability to perceive, facilitate, understand, and manage emotions. Due to limited support from other studies, facilitate emotions is not used in my study. Previous studies give support for emotional intelligence’s positive impact on job performance. Also, there is some evidence, that emotional intelligence influences different phases of recruitment. The theoretical framework bases on these implications and it predicts that the recruitment process is influenced by the EI and that the EI has a positive impact on recruitment consultants’ job performance. I conducted a multiple case study, where I interviewed six recruitment consultants. Moreover, recruiters filled a self-rated EI scale and their performance was evaluated by supervisors. Three main themes arose from data: candidate experience, customer relationships, and mixed results. Empirical findings showed that in recruitment phases, that were related to candidate experience (writing the job ad, phone interviews, and rejections), recruiters’ EI had the strongest impact on job performance. The phases related to customer relationships demonstrated some support for the theoretical framework and the other phases indicated mixed results. In the discussion chapter, previous literature and empirical findings were compared. My results were mostly in line with previous studies, but emerging patterns were also found. In addition, the theory framework was remodelled to better meet the results. The results suggest that EI has a role in recruiters’ work performance. Depending on the recruitment phase, the impact varies, but the influence is still positive. These findings provide valuable information for HR and managers, who are planning training and recruitments of recruiters, as it would be beneficial to consider the aspect of recruiters’ EI. This thesis also has its limitations and more research is needed to confirm the results stated in this study. Especially different steps of recruitment should be studied in more detail to get more information on the effects of recruiters’ EI.
Thesis advisor
Koveshnikov, Alexei
emotional intelligence, recruitment consultant, recruitment process, job performance, Finland
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