How To Attract Talent When The Office Is No Longer A Perk

In a recent blog announcement by one of the leading Tech Giants, Salesforce, the company stated that it’s pulling back from its office-centric legacy and working towards greater flexibility for staff.

“An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the nine-to-five workday is dead and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.

“As employers, we have an opportunity to create an even better workplace – one that allows us to be more connected to each other, find more balance between work and home and advance equality – ultimately leading to increased innovation and better business outcomes.” Brent Hyder, president and chief people officer at Salesforce, said in a blog post on the company’s website.

Salesforce, for instance, is known for their plush offices and food and freebies taking care of its employees. While many other major corporations use similar benefits like; gym membership, subsidised food and travel, dry cleaning, company cars and even childcare.

One of the greatest challenges that businesses will face is finding ways to attract talent, without the suite of perks that come with office working.

So, when all of this is taken away from the work environment, what happens next? Here are four strategies to enhance your attracting talent strategies and the onboarding process.

1. Hybrid working

We’ve seen from the pandemic that there’s a balance. On the one hand we’ve come to enjoy some of the freedoms that come with home-working, on the other, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction.

A recent report found that 70 per cent of employees want to work flexitime, and 72 per cent want to work from home when we return to ‘normal’. Which is why the hybrid-model is a great option. In a post-pandemic world, the nine-to-five will likely be different, but some stability, such as regular team meetings will still be craved.

2. Prioritise wellbeing

Workplace wellbeing has never been more important. While working from home has many benefits, it also comes with some side-effects during lockdown.

Working longer hours, having no break from a work environment, home-schooling, lack of social interaction and not forgetting the stress and anxiety of living through a global pandemic, are just some of the day-to-day issues faced.

Managers need to be conscious of the challenging times we’re all facing, and exercise greater compassion and understanding than ever before.

This includes taking proactive measures to help avoid stress overload and burnout. Replacing office perks that we can no longer enjoy, think of what can be offered, for instance:

  • Vouchers for online classes (e.g, cooking, yoga)
  • Free subscription to wellbeing podcasts, Spotify or other audio subscriptions
  • Supporting upskilling initiatives with online training
  • Budget towards personal fitness instructors, or virtual exercise classes
  • Being mindful of sending emails outside of work hours
  • Regularly communicating with employees (pulse surveys or zoom calls)

3. Revisit onboarding practices

Having a considered onboarding experience is critical to embed new starters to the team.

With this moving online, there are still many ways to achieve this, for instance:

  • Create a dedicated onboarding programme to streamline the process
  • Check-in with newbies in the run-up to their start day, to ensure they are fully up to speed
  • Send a welcome package and company merchandise to enrol them
  • Ensure work equipment is sent to them in good time, with full instructions and a help desk for making the process smooth.
  • Remember that ‘unboxing’ is a huge part of virtual onboarding, so make this as exciting as possible.
  • Schedule in as many virtual meetings as possible to meet new teams and clients in their first few weeks
  • Assign an onboarding buddy from the same team to act as a friend and go-to
  • Set up a weekly ‘happy hour’ for team bonding
  • Put together a ‘first 90 days’ plan to ease them into the role

4. Upgrading the work environment

It’s a shame that your new team member won’t be able to check our your swanky office, or benefit from all the perks that come with it.

So, the next best thing is to bring the office to them. Employers should consider ways to make home working as productive and enjoyable as possible for new starters.

It’s a key part of attracting talent, and retaining it in this new world of work.
Ensuring teams have the right resources, from speedy WiFi to a comfortable work chair, is a great way to create a good impression, whilst supporting their comfort and productivity.

A final thought

As we continue in these uncertain times, leadership and employee experience teams will need to continually review ways to attract talent, including onboarding strategies and perks that can substitute for the work environment no longer what we once knew.

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