I have spent the last eight years of my life transforming small and medium sized business from loss to profit. With over 35 years in the recruitment industry, most of my success can be attributed to understanding people and providing them with what they need to be successful. I have been the “small guy” competing with the big names for talent and constantly fighting to retain my teams. By the same count, I have run a multinational company and experienced recruiting and retaining top talent with a global brand behind me. Let me tell you, that was easier! I recruited for hundreds of businesses, of all sizes, across the Americas, UK, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The story was the same the whole world over— the big guy often wins in the race for talent.
Small and medium sized businesses are challenged when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent. This challenge has become even harder in the last few years, with the rise of the major global employers investing in their brand and workplace campus, providing facilities conducive for creativity and productivity. Bottom line, people want to work in places they enjoy where they achieve great things and are recognized for them! Over the last 10 years, the quality of the workplace has become increasingly important to candidates, especially among the generations of younger talent. While holding recent interviews in San Francisco, over 89% of the candidates I spoke with listed the work environment as being important in their search for their next job. Over 60% mentioned having resources that allowed them to work at their best, nearly all expressed an interest in being part of a community and being able to contribute, and all were attracted to productive environments.
This is all hard to deliver in the more traditional buildings that cater to small and medium sized businesses. Believe it or not, it can even be hard for a global brand, who might have a smaller number of people in a certain location. Unless you spend a fortune, the small office doesn’t give the environment people really thrive in. These challenges have inspired the foundations on which coworking spaces have been built and play a huge part in their growth over the last few years.
But is the community, the admittedly fun, creative, cool office co working space enough? No, it is the combination of physical, emotional, and support environments—this is why we founded Werqwise.
We believe that to truly level the playing field in the race for talent and retention, you need to offer more. Yes, great offices, cool places to be, somewhere you feel proud to go each day, but they should also have a focus on productivity, an emotional connection, and the right support. Coworking - private offices, hot desks, quiet zones, meeting rooms, breakout areas, brainstorming huddles, tech resources, the espresso bar for that chat where you solve the challenges of the day - is more like the facilities you would normally associate with the shiny major employer offices. So, did we put them in? Yes, we did. However, it goes further, the community, the events, the network of experts and service providers are built around supporting success, while creating communities where we really all contribute. If nothing else, the number of people in the location alone overcomes the challenge of small businesses feeling isolated or lacking the “social” buzz you find in larger companies.
Has it worked? I believe so. In four weeks I recruited a full team of 9 people for a new brand. We were in traditional offices as a temporary solution until we relocate to our own location. Nobody loved it and there is no way we could have hired the quality talent we have now as easily, without Werqwise being part of our own work future. Was it the only reason they joined? Of course not, but did it help? For sure. Imagine the next time you’re interviewing, being able to tour your potential talent around a productive, buzzing work location, with places and spaces that are designed specifically to meet their needs and your company’s office tailored to fit with your brand. How do you think that would go?