Job seekers hear again and again about the importance of first impressions. They are coached on communication, body language and appearance. And while these things may not be everything, it certainly helps to create your overall image when going into an interview.
But what about the flip side of this scenario? Recruiting can be difficult when seeking top talent to fill key roles. You may call in a candidate who has multiple offers, so how can you create a good and lasting first impression on them? Focus on the same things that candidates do and apply them to your office environment.
First, discover the good, the bad and the ugly by taking inventory of your current office environment. When you walk into your office building, take a critical look at the space. How is the lighting? Does it look messy or chaotic? Is the waiting area inviting?
Once you’ve catalogued the physical aspects, take a closer look for the emotional responses that might be evoked. How are visitors greeted when they stop in? What about signage? Do people know where to go when they come through your doors? Or, are they going to feel lost?
After performing this examination, the next step will be to find ways to fix the bad and the ugly. Some problem areas may be specific to your office and situation, but there are others that can affect recruiters universally. To help you make the best possible first impression, read on for tips on how to improve your work environment.
While science may link messiness to creativity, it often doesn’t create a likeable environment. In fact, survey results point to employees negatively judging their co-workers when their spaces are messy. And, while having a messy work area may help you come up with ideas, it may also cause additional stress and feelings of anxiety and helplessness.
To avoid potential candidates walking right back out the door, tidy up. Try to keep public areas of the office orderly and when possible encourage employees to keep their workspaces organized as well. Utilize storage closets to keep clutter to a minimum.
Personally, I like for everything to have a set place. That makes it easy to straighten things up and helps me know exactly where things are to facilitate my work.
Most employees will spend significant amounts of their time at the office every week. Adding touches of comfort throughout the office space can be more inviting to them.
You might create a lounge area with a couch and chairs. Employees can use the space to take a break and unwind for a moment or you may even find meetings taking place there. You can also allow employees options for alternative seating, like a balance ball.
Also, consider the lighting in your space. Natural light is best but not always feasible. In those cases, utilize lighting fixtures that create a well-lit space. Plants can also offer an aesthetic feature to your space and provide better air quality and reduce stress.
If you have a receptionist, make sure that person is well trained in their role. In most cases, it will be the receptionist’s responsibility to greet guests, job interviewees, and more. Their pleasantry (or lack thereof) can make a substantial difference to a candidate and in most cases this interaction will be their first in-person interaction with your company—you want to make it count.
You can also make the entry inviting by having a well-lit, clean seating area where guest can wait.
To give your recruiting game an edge, look around your office and see what changes you can make. First impressions are usually made quickly and creating an environment that’s organized, comfortable and welcoming might make the difference in a candidate’s opinion about your company.
Rachel writes for Built for Teams HR Software, a comprehensive HR software package that allows for PTO tracking, Org Chart creation, and more. Built for Teams was created by the developers at Objective Inc..
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