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Empathy-Based Research: The Empathy Hire Play

This article is part of our series on Empathy- based Research.
You can view the full series or download the report.

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This week we highlight play 5 out of 8 from our brand-new Empathy Playbook, the Empathy Hire Play.

As a reminder, as innovation and research become increasingly dominated by quantitative data analytics and algorithms, market researchers need empathy more than ever to see the humans behind the numbers. Empathy is our ability to see and feel things from someone else’s perspective, and the key benefit is that it generates emotional insight into the feelings, motivations and needs that drive behaviour.

As a result, we’ve put together this playbook of practical empathy-based activities to help you research and innovate better from a consumer perspective.

Play 5: The Empathy Hire Play

When you need the play:

Some people are naturally more empathic than others. Empathy appears to be partly determined genetically, but it is also influenced by background and upbringing. Whatever the cause, empathic people have a greater capacity for emotional insight because they find it easier to see and feel things from someone else’s perspective. So they can be a huge asset to a business. Scientific tests have shown that measured empathic ability contributes to the collective intelligence of teams and enhances team performance.

Moreover, the empathy hire makes sense not only because you bring empathy into the business, but also because empathy is a core skill and predictor for successful career progression and leadership.

In short, when you need emotional insight, bring empathy inside. As its name suggests, the empathy hire play works when you are looking to hire a new colleague, consultant, agency or supplier.

How it works:

Running the empathy hire play means assessing the empathic ability or potential of a future colleague or agency.

First, the hire play means hiring people who are naturally empathic, as measured in aptitude tests and demonstrated in interviews or meetings.

This mental ability can be tested, using psychometric empathy tests such as the “Empathy Quotient (EQ) Test” and the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test”, which can be found in our playbook and involves reading people’s emotions by looking into their eyes (a skill indicating high empathic ability).

When hiring a new colleague, consider adding an empathy test to any other aptitude tests you may use. In competency-based interviews, empathy can also be tested by including an activity that involves the applicant making the case for something they are against (perspective-taking).

Secondly, the empathy hire play can mean hiring people from your target market who can bring an insider’s perspective to the business.

Whether you are hiring an agency or a new colleague, seek to recruit from your target market in order to get an insider’s perspective. If empathy is important, know that women tend to be more empathic than men, and that empathy is linked to the personality trait of agreeableness (kind, friendly, helpful, tolerant, cooperative, warm and considerate) and to reading fiction.

Now you know what to look for in new hires, if you want to be a more empathic business and introduce human-first insight and innovation – Brand Genetics can help. Get in touch today to find out more!

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