With the job market humming along at a dizzying clip and decades-low unemployment hovering under 4%, it’s a job seekers’ market out there. Companies of all sizes, across all industries and in every corner of the globe, are affected. If you’ve been finding it hard to hire as of late, you are in good company. A full 66 percent of younger workers plan to leave their current jobs by 2020.
For businesses embarking on hiring talent, it’s important to conduct an audit of your recruiting assets across your entire operation, from your people to your brand. Your online and offline brand presence does a bang-up job distilling who you are and why you do what you do. You have a stellar recruiting team and happy employee advocates on the case. And then there’s your company’s physical space: Your workplace is an extension of your brand and reflects how much—or little—you value your people.
Is your workspace an asset or a roadblock?
A business’s workspace is an essential asset in your recruiting strategy, as valuable as a job rec, its people, its social media profiles, and its company website. Ask yourself: Does your workspace genuinely reflect the way your people work, and encourage their best work? As an extension of your brand, does your workspace reflect your culture and values?
In LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report, 80% of surveyed employers said that soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, and collaboration are increasingly necessary to their organizational success. Considering this, does your workspace hone these ever-important skills?
If the work that you are doing right now requires more collaboration between small groups of people, and your physical workspace isn’t conducive to this, then it’s time to explore options for how to bring this into your workspace. If you are trying to hire for a creative role that requires quiet and space to problem-solve, asking an employee to work in an open-plan office full of salespeople on their phones all day is not going to work.
Dysfunctional physical workspaces can have the effect of exorcising the very skills you need right out of your people. Worse, they can inspire employees to leave—throwing you back in recruiting mode. It also makes it challenging to hire top candidates.
If your workspace works at cross purposes with what your business needs, it’s worth investing time, energy, and resources into changing this dynamic. As Gensler notes in their workplace research, perception is the reality. How your employees (and potential hires) experience your workspace is their reality.
What your prospective employees want
Job seekers are savvy enough to read between the lines. A company that leads with fancy perks and obnoxious job titles runs the risk of being interpreted as they can’t afford to pay me, or they don’t value my big picture. Typical startup trappings of foosball, happy hours, and in-house baristas aren’t enough anymore. Fun perks are appreciated, but they’re not a stand-in for otherwise terrible employee experience.
According to Gensler’s 2019 workplace survey, here are some things that make employees’ work experience better and more productive.
- 43 percent value promoting team building and collaboration
- 34 percent want their workplace to support their health and well-being
- 33 percent want access to latest technology/tools tied with knowledge sharing and best practices
- 32 percent want their workplace to inspire creativity and innovation
We spend most of our waking hours during the week at work. Given that, the way our workspaces make us feel both inside and out is paramount. Offering things such as the ability to sit or stand at your desk, access to drinking water and natural light, even quiet spaces to take private phone calls or have a moment of silent reflection should be considered essential. These things are a boon to both how your people experience their space, mentally and physically.
Organizations that give their people the flexibility to do their best work and also take their peoples’ health and well-being seriously are inevitably rewarded by the creativity and innovation that happens when employees feel valued and supported.
The benefits of workplace flexibility
In today’s recruiting atmosphere, added flexibility is the future of work. There are many benefits of offering more flexibility, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report: It can improve work-life balance, according to 77 percent of employees surveyed. Fifty-four percent say it also encourages retention and more than half says it attracts candidates.
Flexibility can take many forms, from time to physical space to how the work gets done. When companies can show that they value how their employees’ jobs fit into a fuller picture of their lives, it resonates deeply. Undefined hours are one way to offer time flexibility, allowing employees to schedule their day around familial responsibilities, rush hour traffic, or when they are at their most productive, creative best.
Likewise, giving workers the ability to change their workspace throughout the day can have incredible payoff for everyone. Just as you wouldn’t be successful trying to calculate your taxes in the middle of a train station, some tasks require specialized environments.
Most people don’t work in totally open or closed offices; their workplaces fall somewhere in between. In Gensler’s study, most respondents said they want more privacy and more collaborative spaces, too. It sounds contradictory, but those two things are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to support team building and collaboration while also supporting individual work.
A successful workplace is designed to allow for an ebb and flow of energy, that incorporates spaces for meetings of varying sizes, time and space for deep work without interruption, places for two-three people to collaborate or troubleshoot, and space for individual tasks or decompression. It’s this kind of workplace that shows the people who clock in the hours for you day after day just how much you value their contribution.
Strategies for companies hiring talent in 2020
Investing in the experience of your potential employees during the recruiting process can pay off by improving the quality of your new hires by 70 percent. And that investment can also reduce employee retention over the long term.
Fortunately, this effort need not involve packing up the entire office and moving to a fully customized workspace. For MLBs wanting to offer variety and choice to their employees for a portion of their workweek, places like WeWork provide an elegant solution. Imagine an on-call, amenity-rich employee annex that flexes with your needs. We can help you supplement your existing workspace, which allows you to offer more autonomy, health and well-being, and inspiration to your most valuable assets.
Come see how WeWork can help you recruit the right talent with flexible workspace solutions by scheduling a tour today!