I recently held a talk on the topic of paradigm shift in talent recruitment at a international online conference called #HRDay The New Normal. The topic headline was “BEFORE: recruit and select. AFTER: attract and sell.”
On that occasion, I presented a concept that I called "the candidate's life project" and talked about its impact on the selection process. For those who have not had the opportunity to participate, here is an opportunity to meet.
Back in 1943, Abraham Maslow presented a hierarchy of human needs in the article "Theory of Human Motivation". The model is presented in the shape of a pyramid with the basic needs at the bottom, and the highest needs at the top.
Maslow hierarchy of needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been criticized, evaluated as culturally determined and therefore cannot be universal. The logical or hierarchical order really differs from culture to culture, which makes Maslow's model no less universal.
If we were to add just one more dimension to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs - TIME - this model irresistibly reminds us of the LIFE of everyone. Some elements of our life are given to us by birth (physiological needs), and on other elements of our life we must make efforts to make our life look the way we imagined it. Yes, some people do not notice the needs of higher levels or do nothing to fulfill them. However, those who see these needs, know that achieving the desired outcome that we have set for ourselves, is a serious project - a life project!
Life project and priorities!
Yes, each responsible individual will design their own life project, plan, and define priorities according to needs and current life stage. However, there are things that we cannot influence in life, and we have not in any way contributed to them happening. These are circumstances such as major economic crises, or pandemics, and they inevitably affect the change of our priorities and plans. Consequently, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is not determined only by cultural differences.
Life project and human capital
If you follow what is happening in the area of human capital management, or you are just its end user, you will realize that most HR strategies are focused on higher levels of Maslow's hierarchy - the need to belong ("informal and friendly environment, dynamic teams"), the need for respect ("challenging projects, opportunities for personal development in the form of training and coaching ") and the need for self-actualization (" possibility of advancement, share options… "). Why is it so? Because the higher parts of Maslow's hierarchy are the need for growth and development, ie. motivational factors, which assume that physiological and safety needs are already met.
However, as people's needs change over time, so have human capital management approaches. When it became important for people to make a balance between business and private life, HR started with initiatives that became part of corporate cultures, such as flexible work, work from home and the like. However, I think that the scope of insight and understanding the needs of the individual is not so wide from the perspective of organizations.
Currently, the society on a global level is in at extremely sensitive moment, and the very foundations of Maslow's hierarchy of needs have been shaken.
Millions of people in the world have already lost their jobs, and taking economic forecasts for the next few years into account, it would be utterly irresponsible to put pink glasses and imagine a "virtuous new world" that would be a better place to live and continue current practices, when mere survival and security, both health and job security are at stake?!