Company culture and values outweigh office space for job seekers in 2021.
Flashback to February 2020, when the hiring process looked a little something like this ...
You speak with an ideal candidate over the phone and pique their interest with the job basics, then invite them to visit to “woo” them with your amazing space and company culture, and sell them on the idea of what life would look like in your office. Assuming all goes as you hope, you make an offer, highlighting the competitive compensation and benefits to seal the deal.
Now we return to the present day, when a big part of the recruiting process is virtual and your amazing space doesn’t convey the same “wow” factor on screen. Not to mention the elephant in the room: Does an office environment even appeal to today’s candidates?
Priorities are shifting. The pandemic has taught job seekers that not only can they successfully work from home (at least part of the time), but they can maintain a critical sense of work-life balance, as well. Sure, bonuses, 401K plans and competitive compensation are still important. However, the flexibility to work remotely, increase family time and shorten the daily commute are bigger players than ever before and can make or break a deal.
Since January, to support our growth plans, Hart has staffed up heavily to expand our media, public relations and digital teams. To find the best candidates, we didn’t set stringent geographic boundaries. And as a result, we’ve added exceptional people who work virtually from their “offices” in other states while adding great depth to our Ohio-based agency’s skillset.
Of course, realistically, not every employer can accommodate a permanent work from home or hybrid work model. So how do you recruit those who prefer these new virtual environments?
As HR professionals, we evaluate things like compensation and benefit packages to remain competitive and attractive to job seekers. One thing that often falls off the radar is a consistent deep dive into the company’s culture, values and work-life balance.
As employers looking to attract top-tier talent, we should be asking ourselves, “Where are the candidates in today’s market placing their values and how do we match up?” Companies need to show transparency, authenticity, camaraderie and flexibility to remain relevant. Really look at your company values and evaluate where you stand on the human and culture side of the equation and get creative:
Offer flexible hours. Maybe the office arrives and leaves earlier on summer Fridays. Or make it easier for parents to get to that 5 p.m. game.
Create more opportunities for employees to be out of the office. Offering additional time off is a great way to acknowledge that extra time for yourself and your non-work life is important.
Build your community. Giving back is important now more than ever. Create a team-building volunteering event as a group, or give your employees time off to go out and volunteer.
Consider investing in employee well-being. Personal struggles are real, and not just during a pandemic. Consider implementing services, such as an Employee Assistance Program, which provide support to employees and families.
Show thanks. Small acts of gratitude go a long way and can enhance employee feelings of importance and influence what they tell their network and other prospective candidates. A handwritten note, money bonus, lunch, additional time off … gratitude looks different everywhere. Be mindful and consistent about showing it.
Candidates are making fast judgements about whether to apply or not based on the impression your external channels provide. What do your website and social media platforms say about you? HR, marketing and internal communication teams need to work together and share the same message. While you may lack the flexibility to let your employees work from home, you may really shine in other areas – and that needs to be seen and shouted from the rooftops.