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Five Strategies to Attract the Best Employees

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s déjà vu all over again. Everywhere we look, firms are competing for the best talent and can no longer rely on tried-and-true strategies. Now is the time to raise the bar on your efforts to find and win the best talent. Here, Marjanne Pearson, the founder of Talentstar and an industry pioneer in talent, leadership, and business strategies for architecture and design practice, explores a few of today’s best strategies.

  1. Attract: Align your brand promise with their values and concerns.

Which generations are you trying to attract?

Gen X believes in work-life balance. These 34- to 48-year-olds grew up with the concept and value it for themselves and their families. Although generally content and optimistic, they are specifically concerned about providing for their families and taking care of their own health and well being. They are looking at their own futures and how they can create theirs with you.

Millennials are digital natives and peer-oriented. They want to work with people they can trust, and they trust the opinions of people they know. They are inclusive and welcome diversity, they have been active in community services, and they seek others who support social responsibility. And they are green — as children, they learned to be mindful of the environment, and they expect others to be, too. Eventually, they want to work for themselves, so they are seeking like-minded entrepreneurs with whom they can learn and grow.

  1. Captivate: Put your firm at the center of their conversation.

Before a potential employee considers your firm, they want to find out whether it’s the right place for them — your core values, culture, and work environment.

Have a people-rich marketing strategy. Actively highlight the members of your firm within and beyond the workplace, featuring engaging shots of real people – candids of teams working and having fun together — as well as stories that reinforce the images. Have fun with video. YouTube is the second largest search engine and reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.

Seek opportunities to reinforce motivational themes — opportunity, accomplishment, recognition, purpose, social responsibility, sustainable design. What matters most to you will matter to them, too.

  1. Connect: Reach the right audience.

Where do people go for information, for work, and for fun? Firms post jobs on their websites, but only rarely are they captivating. If you want a cross-section of professional candidates, post a job on LinkedIn. If want to create a pipeline of recent graduates, publish a career guide and share it with the architecture and design schools. If you are looking for specific types of expertise, go to the publications (in print and online) that your audience will read. For example:

  • Archinect.com is the go-to platform for jobs in architecture, drawing repeat visitors because of its content — articles and commentary about architecture and design today.
  • TheMuse.com was developed by millennials for millennials and offers career advice as well as opportunities. They currently represent hot new tech companies like Uber and Airbnb, but design firms may not be far behind.
  • WorkDesign.com “explores the ideas that shape the places we work” — new territory with a new approach. As a result, WDM is attracting their target audience and yours, too — 25- to 35-year-olds in the workplace industry.
  1. Engage: Build relationships over time.

In the old days, recruiting was a transaction. We posted an ad, people applied, and we hired someone. Today, it’s not enough to collect applications that are scanned using complex algorithms. Smart firms are looking for next-gen leaders and giving them opportunities to grow and develop with them.

Begin your conversation with a great tagline and ad copy. Make your talent message prominent — on the back of business cards, email signature lines, social media accounts, white papers, YouTube, and more. Find the right places to publicize opportunities, drive people to your social platforms, and then create links to job descriptions that skip the blah-blah-blah and focus on them. What are they seeking? What are you really offering? And of course, what’s in it for them, and for you?

  1. Build: Create the future of your firm.

We are all in the business of talent spotting. Don’t collect applications in a database. Open the door to relationship building. When you find someone in whom you are interested, create opportunities to get to know them better — include them in company events, introduce them to your colleagues, and find opportunities to collaborate on community or civic projects or professional activities. Learn more about them and how they engage with others.

Draw them into the center of the conversation with you, and instead of employees, you’ll have key collaborators with whom you can build a successful future together.

The story originally appeared on the Work Design website.

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

Ready, Set, Innovate: Do This, Don’t Do That

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

 

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Categories: Uncategorized

How To Design Your Office To Fulfill Employees’ Most Basic Needs

October 13, 2015 Leave a comment

In the war for talent, savvy companies understand that office space is both a key component of their recruiting strategy and a platform they can use to amplify their culture. One way to design a space that will become a competitive advantage is to understand exactly what it is that your employees need to be happy.

And for help on that front, you might think about Abraham Maslow’s 1950s theory about human motivation and his hierarchy of needs.

How can something like office design aid in fulfilling those needs? Answering that question is key to helping companies design spaces their employees love. After all, the same principles that apply to people should also be considered when designing for people. Here are four to consider:

  1. Think: “full stomach, full heart.”

Though you’d be hard pressed nowadays to find an office that doesn’t meet humans’ most basic requirements for air, water and shelter, companies often miss the mark when it comes to providing food for their staffs. Some executives will argue that the cost of daily lunch outweighs the benefits. But beyond keeping your employees’ minds off their hunger pangs, feeding them shows that you are invested in their well-being. And that in turn will build powerful goodwill and create brand ambassadors.

Like families at dinner time, employees will gather in the office kitchen to connect, so the space should reflect that of a welcoming host. Minor additions like long picnic tables and comfortable couches will further enhance the theme and encourage employees to spend their break time in the space rather than outside. Firms with limited resources don’t have to go to extremes to provide for their employees (a la Google’s Chicago office’s full floor-cafeteria and free food all day).

Even startups can take steps to keep their employees full, with moves like stocking their kitchen with fresh fruit or granola bars. A full employee is a happy employee — and a happy employee is an investment worth making.

  1. Succumb to peer pressure.

Though most organizations have figured out that perks and benefits are a key component of their competitive advantage, workspace design has been, until now, a rather overlooked part of this equation. But employee needs shouldn’t be — and the two often go hand in hand.

I recently spoke with Zappos’ head of HR, who made an interesting analogy: If you walk by a packed bar with people laughing and having fun, you are more likely to wait in line and pay more for drinks there than at a quiet but nearly empty bar a few doors down — even if the second bar has cheaper drinks.

Building a successful workspace entails a similar principle. By creating a sense of community, you’ll find your employees more likely to feel that inherent sense of belonging that gives organizations a competitive advantage. It’s no wonder that people in successful companies speak of their sense of “family.” In fact, a genuine social network at the office is a real safeguard against turnover.

So, how can firms integrate this intangible concept of community into their workspace design? Open communal areas, family-style kitchens and café-esque spaces where people can come together to build relationships are worth the investment. In this light, a client of ours, Coyote Logistics, often recognized for its tight-knit company culture and emphasis on teamwork, boasts a company store within its headquarters. The branded t-shirts, pullovers and other apparel the store offers employees is a simple way to encourage that sense of belonging, even for larger firms with multiple locations.

And employees do buy in; more than half of Coyote’s employees typically sport the team logo.

  1. Build ’em up, Buttercup.

Though employees may not admit it, confidence and esteem are two of the most basic human needs, and employment is a key driver — for better or worse. Confidence comes from autonomy within an environment, and autonomy comes from a culture that doesn’t punish mistakes made in the name of progress. Esteem comes from recognition, both by management and peers.

Organizations should embrace technologies and processes that facilitate positive feedback. An example is the mini-survey platform TinyPulse, which allows employers to keep track of how their teams are feeling. When companies integrate actual measures of confidence and esteem, employees know that their opinions (and emotions) are valued, which in turn boosts both confidence and productivity.

At our client, Centro, each meeting is kicked off with a “check-in,” with the leader asking how each team member is feeling. This seemingly innocuous step not only shows employees that their leaders care about them, but helps to shed light on any unique personal circumstances that may impact participation. Spaces that minimize hierarchy can help here. A related tip is: Reduce the number of long and narrow conference room tables, to create a more collaborative environment and encourage inclusive conversation.

  1. Focus on the pursuit of happiness.

At the top of Maslow’s pyramid is self-actualization, characterized by creativity, spontaneity and problem solving. The key here is to nurture the ideas that start out as fragile fragments of thought. Chicago agency Tris3ct has this art down to a science, ensuring that nearly all surfaces in its office facilitate work, whether those surfaces be magnetic, writeable walls; chalkboards; or even corkboard light fixtures and floors! This ensures that employees with “light bulb” moments are never more than a few feet away from a surface on which to give their fledgling ideas life.

Over the course of our lifetimes, we’ll spend more time in the workplace than we will in our own homes. Understanding this time commitment is critical to creating an environment in which employees can thrive and connect

By using an existing resource — office space — and designing it through the prism of basic human needs, companies will retain high-quality talent by providing a stage for employees to do their best work.

The story originally appeared on the Entrepreneur website.

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

How Are People Wasting Time At Work?

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Categories: Uncategorized