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The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and experience, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who passed over and who promoted.

We are talking about emotional intelligence. You may be wondering what is it and why should you care? Let’s start with what it is!

Daniel Goleman in his best-selling book Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam Books, 1995) first popularized the concepts of emotional intelligence and redefined the yardstick for personal success at the executive level. He declared that academic abilities are largely irrelevant to the success of most executives particularly when you are trying to distinguish between the good ones and the really great ones.

The new yardstick for career success focuses instead on personal qualities such as initiative, empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness. "Emotional intelligence involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions." According to Goleman, emotional intelligence may be categorized into five domains:


Observing yourself and recognizing feelings as they happen.


Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.


Channeling emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self control; delaying gratification and stifling impulses.


Sensitivity to others' feelings and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.


Managing emotions in others; social competence and social skills.

Of course, there is much more to say about emotional intelligence and a good deal has been written and published in books and articles by Daniel Goleman. The key point in all of this is that career success for truly great executives is 75 to 90 percent emotional intelligence and only 10 to 25 percent IQ!

We believe it is pretty obvious that executive recruiters and companies must carefully evaluate final candidates for the degree of emotional intelligence they bring to a given situation. We do exactly that at Jack Hurst and Associates which may be another good reason for retaining our firm to conduct senior level executive search assignments in your organization.