Where should you base your office?
Seems like a pretty easy question, right? Where your current employees live is the common, most obvious answer. You might also think to move your site where target employees live. Accepted wisdom says that if you select a site near your current or target employees, you can more easily retain and recruit talent.
Problems with Site Selection Based on Current Employees
Problems with Site Selection Based on Target Employees
An alternative to basing site selection on where current employees live is basing it on where target employees live. Traditionally, this approach relies on two steps: (i) generalized census data to get a rough estimate of where certain employees live (for instance, software engineers), and (ii) overlaying this data with the diversity of that region to ideally should show you where target employees live, so you can place your office nearby to aid recruitment efforts.
However, this approach is also faulty for two key reasons:
With this outdated approach, you risk selecting a site based on where target employees are estimated to live – only to find out few (if any) of these target employees actually live there.
The New Approach to Site Selection
At Terrain, we believe the best approach to Site Selection is to analyze where target employees currently work.
Rather than approximating where current or target employees might live, it’s possible to use data of where target employees currently work to help make a better decision.
By analyzing the actual talent composition in any neighborhood/city, it’s possible to understand where employees currently work that have the skills you seek. It’s also possible to understand the diversity metrics of that labor pool and directly compare it to the diversity of other global talent pools. This approach enables users to find dense talent clusters that increase your chances of successfully recruiting employees you need.
You can also improve your site selection by locating it near similar companies. Most companies can’t successfully open an office in a neighborhood without an existing office market. This is because only a few large companies (like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc) have enough brand equity to change an existing commute pattern. Opening your office in a location that goes against these established patterns is a high-risk, low-reward prospect. Instead, locating your office near similar employers allows you to take advantage of existing talent clusters and patterns.
One of the incredible, and somewhat recently forgotten, things about real estate is the physical and emotional response it elicits from us. Choosing the right office and headquarters location can play a major role in successfully scaling your organization. The right space, located in the right market, can serve as a major asset in attracting the best talent and creating a safe, enjoyable workplace for employees. Choosing wrong may lead you to struggle to recruit the top talent you work so hard to recruit.
The good news is that our analysis can help you select the best site to help your business thrive. Request your demo today to see how Terrain can help.