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Despite the majority of businesses in the UK agreeing that emotional intelligence is a very important skill for their employees, one in four say that it is undervalued.

The research, carried out by recruitment specialists Robert Half UK, revealed that these findings reinforce the World Economic Forum report, which predicts that emotional intelligence will become one of the top ten skills for employees by 2020.

Business leaders said that increased motivation and morale (46%), improved leadership (45%) and better collaboration between teams (37%) were the primary benefits of hiring those with high emotional intelligence.

Just four per cent of UK businesses say that it offers no additional benefits to their business at all.

Despite the advantages cited, managers still believe there is too little importance attached to emotional intelligence during the hiring process.

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Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, commented, “Identifying skills gaps and securing the right talent is crucial for long-term success in today’s competitive recruitment environment. Businesses must prioritise the skills and qualities they expect from potential candidates.

“In the current war for talent, employers must find the right balance between skills and personality – evaluating what characteristics are required within the team and what skills can be taught.”

“The workplace of future values their fit within an organisation and are more inclined to evaluate the company culture, working environment and employer brand. It has therefore become hugely important that business leaders are aware and mindful of employees’ needs and desires. This will effectively expand their candidate pool and to help to identify, secure and retain top talent, long-term.”

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