Designing to Recruit Top Talent

Did you know that the current national unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, with our region averaging only 2.5 percent? The last time it was this low was in December of 1969! With a multitude of available opportunities across the job market, a shift has occurred. Job candidates are now in the powerful position of selecting their employer.

The natural question then arises: what should business owners be doing to stand out and attract top talent in such a competitive market? As with most things in the world of business, there is no cookie-cutter answer. Plenty of contributing factors exist. For example, your company’s purpose and culture are very key drivers in the job market. But today we’ll be looking at an aspect of hiring that many overlook. The physical space that potential employees will work in.

We believe that companies should heavily consider designing spaces that remain consistent with their mission and facilitate the diverse job functions that reside in their workplace in order to recruit and retain top talent. So, if a company’s mission statement includes wellness commitments but doesn’t allow for natural light and fresh air in the workplace, high quality job candidates will take note of this discrepancy. But there’s more to it than that… Ready to learn more about what constitutes an attractive environment for high quality talent? Keep reading!

Culture Plays a Role

We suggest that companies move beyond cultures centered around bean bag chairs and cold brew on tap – although we love cold brew on tap – and also look to design spaces that match their culture and better facilitate the types of jobs that reside in a given environment. Which sounds nice, but what does this actually look like?

If your goal is to design a workplace that employees actually want to work at, then you should start by asking what types of things they care about. “Cool” architecture is something that may come to mind – and it is a definite advantage. But “cool” can’t be the only consideration. Functional space is also a necessity. So instead of using simple, open office designs, consider a combination of more secluded spaces for focus and collaborative spaces that promote creativity and allow impromptu sharing. These dynamic workspaces will help you stand out to top talent.

A Good First Impression

The first experience a prospective employee – or anyone for that matter – has when walking in the door of your organization holds a lot of weight. Ask yourself what message you’re sending to people. Your entryway or lobby area would ideally be designed with the goal of helping new recruits understand your product or service, work style and philosophy. These types of environments can be a powerful recruitment tool for prospective employees.

A Thoughtfully Designed… Staircase?

What does a staircase have to do with hiring? Stairways have typically been associated with functionality, nothing more. And you may see no need to change that. However, from a social perspective, people are significantly more likely to make friends with people on other floors when they’re connected by open stairways. So, do better stairs mean more friends? Well, sort of… but it’s more so the driving principle behind decisions like these that make the difference. When designing a workspace, you should make connecting with people the path of least resistance. When you apply this principle to each room, hallway, lounge, and yes, even a staircase, your current employees will thank you, and prospective employees will love you!

What Does Your Space Say About You?

By removing the barriers to individual and team productivity, a workspace will not only make employees feel positive, productive and happy, but you’ll begin attracting the type of high-quality talent that you’re looking for. But if you’re still a little unsure of whether or not your current workspace is attractive to quality talent, we leave you with this question: If a prospective job candidate asked your current employees about their work environment, what would they say?