After muscles and the brain, it would seem qualities of the heart are more and more sought after by employers, and not only for occupations requiring empathy, such as nursing. We are moving towards a human economy, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review.
In this economy, a candidate’s human traits are considered and valued in the recruitment and hiring processes. Several indicators point in this direction. For example, a survey of more than 1,000 business leaders indicates that qualities such as collaboration, communication, creativity and flexibility are among the most sought after, beyond knowledge and technical skills.
On the other hand, business and administrative schools are increasingly training students in emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication. In addition, the use of the word ‘human’ in advertising and marketing has been a strong trend for some years now, according to Ad Age. In this digital age, organizations need people capable of empathy and judgment while machines are not yet able to do so.
On the other hand, in customer service, while we have developed a multitude of interactive tools capable of answering questions and helping to solve problems, the human being will always be indispensable. According to a Global Consumer Pulse survey, 73% of consumers in the world prefer to interact with a human, especially when it comes to getting advice and solving problems.
Jacques Forest, CHRP, organizational psychologist and professor at ESG UQAM, believes that human qualities have always been important to organizations and that this is not necessarily a new trend.
“It is a utopia to believe that one day machines will replace workers and that we can do without the human,” he said. “A computer has no goodwill. The inventions we make serve to simplify life and increase our well-being, but the word ‘human’ within ‘human resources’ must never be forgotten. To motivate an employee, you must meet three universal needs: their need for autonomy, their need to exercise their skills and their need for social affiliation.”
An employer who understands these needs and fosters their development will have employees who are happy and better able to use their human qualities, he says.
According to the Finnish researcher Frank Martela of the University of Helsinki, the human being would also have an innate and universal need for benevolence, that is to say that he must have the impression of doing good around him.
"If you have managers whose only goal is to make a profit, you can recruit candidates with great human qualities, but if they do not have the flexibility to exercise these qualities, the organization will not thrive,” adds Jacques Forest. “Increasing pro-social behaviours and reducing antisocial attitudes requires a work environment that allows it and promotes collective well-being.”