Workplace environment has become a pretty big part of the whole employment package. Job seekers scour career sites and social media pages to get a glimpse at the offices and dress code of companies they’re interested in working for, and candidates make a note of scoping out the hallways for personality clues when called into an interview.
Part of success within an organization has a lot to do with cultural fit and one very big indicator of culture is the workplace itself. If you work in the world of corporate traditions, it’s these posts that make you cringe. Right away, we think standing desks, napping rooms, casual clothing and open concepts. Lucky for you, no matter what your workplace rules are, there is a gold mine of opportunity for your unique recruitment game. Don’t be dismayed. Read on.
1. Bring variety to the space.
Variety in an office is the best way to engage and satisfy a wide range of workers. Often the more focused or introverted employees require the ability to disengage from chatter and high traffic areas in order to do their best work, while extroverts will feel disconnected and unmotivated if they aren’t near their teammates.
If the office is your canvas: Create levels in more ways than one. Introduce sit-stand desks so employees can spend the day changing their body’s position for better posture and focus. Also bring in levels of solitude by having areas where teams can meet and brainstorm or break away from noise and work alone.
If the office has guidelines: Use communal areas to your advantage. Invite teams to hold morning meetings in the lounge or on the patio. Schedule a 5 minute gab session once or twice a week, where everyone stands up and talks over their walls. Even opening up the one empty cubicle as the place to stash sweet treats can make for impromptu run-ins that stir conversations and remind everyone who sits only a wall away.
Have you heard of the #WOLAN Onboarding Method? Is it right for you?
2. Decorate in ways management will love.
Find a way to bring inspiration to your office by using the company’s brand. A study performed by the University of Texas found grays, beige and white offices often induce feelings of sadness in women while purples and orange poorly affect men. Color has been shown to have a profound impact on productivity, but that doesn’t mean you have to start browsing paint chips.
If the office is your canvas: Consider painting an accent wall or devoting space to an oversized vinyl logo. If that’s a little much, order frames in a brand color for artwork or buy artwork that incorporates your color palette. These will bring some color to your walls without committing to a weekend of painting.
If the office has guidelines: Highlight your organization’s mantra by designing banners that feature your mission statement or values. It’s a small touch that will break up the monotony of white walls without making any permanent changes to the building. If possible, consider purchasing rugs and other accents that splash color but can easily be eliminated if need be.
Are you a mission-driven organization? You should be!
3. Take control of your first impression.
Your space actually does a lot in the way of welcoming or turning away visitors, including your applicants. For example, traditional offices have receptionist desks or very clear front entrances with a natural direction pointing the way to where visitors should go. Some companies share office space or buildings, which means their logo might not even be above their front door. Open concept offices might make it near impossible to even hear when someone walks in or knocks on a door. Whatever your unique space is, it’s important you look at it through the eyes of someone who has never once been through its door.
If the office is your canvas: Create a welcoming ritual. Start by making sure your logo is visible from the outside, both of the building and in the hallway. It’s great for brand recognition as well as ensuring candidates they’ve found the right place. Then, create a receptionist area. If you already have one, great! If not, simply work out a way to have an employee’s desk near the door so they can quickly greet anyone who visits. If push comes to shove, propping the door open when you know someone will be coming in will at least save them the trouble of wondering if they should knock.
If the office has guidelines: If you don’t have a receptionist, can’t rearrange your office and have very little control on how your candidates will be greeted, be proactive. First, email the candidate detailed instructions on how to find the building, where they can park, the best phone number to reach you with and any other pertinent information so they can find you without any fears. Worst comes to worst, arrange meetings so that you or a coworker can personally greet each candidate at the door. A little planning can go a long way, especially when it comes to the warmth your candidate will feel when they first see your offices.
Are there Stranger Things happening in your hiring process? Take control again.
Your office’s environment can hold a lot of power in the decision a candidate will make about your organization. What used to be focused on productivity, now includes a splash of satisfaction and collaboration. No matter what structure you’re working with, there’s a way to bring out the best in your workforce and recruitment - and it’s not all to do with paint color.
Of course, first impressions don’t begin when a candidate walks in the door. If you’re struggling to see enough qualified and talented candidates in your talent pipeline, it might be your candidate experience that needs the renovation. Check out ClearCompany’s applicant tracking system and start making better, more meaningful connections with talent.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent hundreds of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.