Will ‘cultural intelligence’ trump IQ in future hires?

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According to a leading lawyer, ‘cultural intelligence’ will soon overtake high IQ when it comes to employers’ priorities when hiring new staff.

Speaking at the New Zealand Asian Leaders Conference at Vodafone on Friday, Mai Chen said that being from overseas was a benefit as opposed to a reason to fear discrimination.

“Smarts are always important ... but I predict that in 10 years’ time the most important characteristic in recruitment will be CQ – the ability to have the cultural intelligence to work with people who are not like you,” she said.

According to The New Zealand Herald, the graduate candidate pool is 50 to 90% Asian – and Chen said that recruiters needed to start taking note that differences in culture and perspective are assets.

Swee Tan, a renowned plastic surgeon, also held a presentation at the event.

The Herald reported that he said he had faced “many obstacles” as a jobseeker.

“There were many obstacles – not having a track record for one,” he explained.

However, he added that he would not allow this to make him leave New Zealand.
  • Dominique Vaughan-Russell on 29/09/2015 7:37:45 a.m.

    Absolutely! CQ is the new IQ. All companies looking to do business globally should have Cultural Intelligence training as part of their mandate, and look for leaders who are culturally agile.

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