Talent Acquisition 101: The Importance of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs!

Exclusive Interview: Markus Schneider on Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Win the War for Talent, and what Markus Schneider Solutions stands for!


The world has changed, the way we do business has changed and so have the demands of employees. One constant remains – people haven’t changed. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology that is widely used even today.

The following article by Markus Schneider, Executive Director at ritrovo, ( https://www.ritrovo.io ) will discuss how understanding Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is critical when attempting to win the war for talent.

The Challenge:

The War for Talent has become a popular phrase in recent times. It refers to the difficulty of finding and retaining skilled employees, particularly in frontline roles. Frontline workers play an important role in any organization as they are the face of the company and directly interact with customers. But how do we attract and retain frontline workers when they face challenges such as low pay, little job security, and poor working conditions? The answer lies in understanding Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and addressing the various needs of frontline workers.

The Solution:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs consists of five stages, namely physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Understanding and addressing these needs is critical when attempting to win the war for talent.

Physiological needs are the most basic of needs and must be met before individuals can move on to other needs. Frontline workers must have access to air, food, clothes, and sleep to survive. Safety needs include security, order, predictability, and control in life. Examples include hospitals, emergency professionals, and schools. Frontline workers need financial security through employment, freedom from fear, social stability, property, and overall well-being (like safety against injury).

Love and belonging needs are social in nature. Frontline workers need to feel a sense of overall belongingness within the bounds of relationships, feeling connected with those around them and part of a group. Esteem needs include the need for self-worth, feeling accomplished, and feeling respected. Frontline workers must have constant opportunities to have this need addressed, and yet opportunities for the frontline workers to feel status, prestige, and overall dignity and achievement are few and far between in most work environments.

Cognitive needs encapsulate our intrinsic desires for knowledge and understanding, the ability to explore, learn, and seek meaning. Frontline workers need development, clear career progression opportunities, and active, consistent coaching and leadership. Aesthetic needs are the need to search for, find, and appreciate beauty, order, and balance. In the muck and challenge of frontline worker life, it is often the case that beauty in any form can be limited, but the opportunity to provide work experiences that create beauty around them is critical.

Self-actualization needs refer to the way we all desire to truly realize our potential, be self-fulfilled, grow and reach the peak of our abilities. Frontline workers want to truly become their best selves, achieve great things, be recognized and rewarded, master their craft, and win on a daily basis. But too few organizations have meaningful systems in place to help their teams achieve this core human need and lose their talent to other companies as their employee’s job hop seeking this fulfilment that they may not have even mentally understood, yet innately seek.

Transcendent needs are the highest form of need. This is a need wherein a person is motivated by values which transcend their personal selves. These may include mystical experiences, certain experiences with nature, religious faith, and the like. Transcendent needs also include service to others. At a core level, we all find extreme value (perhaps even the highest value) in serving other people. And nobody is more equipped in a healthy environment to serve the needs of others than those in a frontline service capacity. But often frontline work feels thankless, meaningless, and ignored.

The solution lies in addressing the various needs of frontline workers such as physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, cognitive needs, aesthetic needs, self-actualization needs, and transcendent needs. By providing opportunities for frontline workers to have their needs addressed, organizations can win the war for talent and retain skilled employees.

The Result

The ritrovo Leadership Development and Communication app can be helpful in addressing the various needs of frontline workers. The app can provide development opportunities, clear career progression paths, coaching, and leadership opportunities to help address cognitive and self-actualization needs. Additionally, the app can foster a sense of belongingness and appreciation for beauty through its communication and collaboration features. Furthermore, the app can help frontline workers find meaning and fulfilment in their work by providing opportunities for service to others, which can address transcendent needs.


The ritrovo Leadership Development and Communication app can be a useful tool in addressing the various needs of frontline workers, which can help organizations win the war for talent and retain skilled employees.

By understanding and addressing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, organizations can create a healthy work environment that fosters growth, meaning, and fulfilment for frontline workers with digital tools.

Ready to take the first step to sustainable profitability?

Get in touch today.