Companies of all types are feeling the pinch as employees quit in record numbers and prospective candidates raise their demands. Business leaders and managers are doing everything possible to make open positions more attractive but are often overlooking a critical piece of the puzzle: commutes.
Employees have every reason to want to avoid long or complicated commutes. Not only are they unpleasant, but people know they can’t perform at their best if they’re exhausted by a long drive before the workday has even begun. An article from the Harvard Business Review reported that even minor geographic differences in where jobs are located impact employment. A recent survey from Georgia Commute Options found that 40% of Atlanta workers will quit if forced to commute to the workplace every day.
Most business leaders think that commutes are outside of their control, but that’s not always true. In fact, there are several options to improve how employees experience their commutes —and make your company more attractive to candidates in the process. Consider these three strategies.
1. Share Information with Recruits on Commuting Options
You can bolster prospective employees’ confidence in employment with your company during the recruitment phase by letting them know the commuting options they would have available to get to your workplace.
Employees in the metro region can take advantage of the region’s transit network, with MARTA bus and rail, the Xpress regional bus service, and local bus routes through CobbLinc and Gwinnett County Transit. Consider offering information about transit routes and schedules in your recruitment materials. If prospective employees are unsure about taking transit, you can offer them a free transit pass for their first few weeks of work, so they can try out a route while also saving money ahead of their first paycheck.
You can also show employees that sharing the ride to work is a viable option through tools like the GA Commute app. This app shows people all available routes between their home and office and can help with ride matching for nearby carpools.
Ride services, such as shuttles from transit stations or company-facilitated carpool groups, can also make it easier for employees to find commutes that are convenient for them. Talk to one of our experts about bringing these programs and more to your workplace.
In this period of a talent shortage, it pays to be creative and proactive about making employee commutes as pleasant as possible. Financial reimbursements or a transportation savings plan can lessen the financial burden of transit passes or gas prices. Georgia Commute Options also offers rewards and prizes to commuters—including up to $150 for switching from driving alone for their work commute to either riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking or walking.
2. Maintain Schedule Flexibility
Part of what is driving the “Great Resignation” is a desire among employees for flexibility and choice regarding where and how they work. That means that remote work and flexible scheduling are among the top lifestyle benefits that job seekers value. Research suggests that remote work is valued at 8 percent of a job seeker’s wage, for example. To the extent that it’s possible, allowing for continued flexibility in both scheduling and location is key to enticing top talent.
If remote work is still feasible for your organization, keep it to lift the commute burden off employees who want to save time and money and glean extra productivity from home. For roles that aren’t well-suited to telework, offer more flexibility in when employees travel to and from the workplace to skip traffic. Read in-depth about these scheduling strategies here.
3. Focus Your Recruitment Efforts Locally
Harvard Business Review reports that a 1% increase in commute distance is associated with a 4.4% decrease in commute flows. In practical terms, that means that recruiting talent from neighborhoods that are 10% closer to your office means you’ll find 44% more people willing to commute to your location.
How can you get in front of nearby talent? Investigate targeted marketing and recruitment strategies, such as local job fairs and residential events and programs, with your Human Resources and internal marketing teams. Consider non-traditional approaches, too, like paid social advertising and local search engine optimization (SEO) to get in front of job seekers who are using search engines to find nearby opportunities (hint: Google processes more than 300 million job-related searches each month).
Attract Top Talent with Proactive Commute Support
Employers who tackle the commuting hurdle are poised to overtake the competition. Set your organization up for success by offering commute support. We’re here to help. You can get a commute consultation from our team of experts—offered at no cost to employers in the Atlanta region.