The Strong and Growing Links Between Talent Recruitment and Commuting
The post-pandemic employment landscape has U.S. businesses reeling with the aftershocks of the dramatic Great Resignation. Employers around the country were left scratching their heads, wondering how to replace the unprecedented number of workers who quit their jobs in 2021 and 2022. As researchers have sought solutions to the employer-side labor market crunch, links between talent recruitment and commuting have emerged as an area of increasing focus.
Get There Oregon recently commissioned a survey of human resources (HR) professionals across the state of Oregon, seeking insights into their major concerns. The survey queried 225 senior HR administrators, and yielded many intriguing results. One particular statistic related to current labor dynamics sticks out: 63% of polled HR professionals ranked either talent acquisition or employee retention as their top priority.
Let’s look at ties between talent recruitment and commuting in the context of the chaotic and confounding post-pandemic employment landscape.
Difficult Commutes Exact a Major Toll
Employers have known about links between talent recruitment and commuting for quite some time: a famous 2018 Robert Half study reported that a whopping 23% of polled U.S. workers had voluntarily quit a job at least once during their lives because of a long or difficult commute. The major difference between then and now is that the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation have made employers far more willing to address these issues in meaningful ways.
Businesses are especially concerned about the attitudes of emerging generations of workers toward commuting. A 2021 survey commissioned by Randstad found that 43% of Generation Z workforce members said they have to live too far from their jobs due to financial considerations. Along similar lines, 42% of Gen Z respondents indicated that grueling commutes negatively impacted both their mood and their productivity.
Companies seeking to tap into younger labor market demographics to replace employees lost to the Great Resignation would be wise to seek effective solutions to these issues.
Commute-Related Productivity Losses Impact Your Best Employees the Most
Echoing similar research findings, the Harvard Business Review noted in this 2021 editorial that commuting negatively impacts productivity. Along similar lines, it also found that the productivity losses have the biggest impacts on employers’ most valuable team members. The main thrust of the editorial, which generated its analysis from pioneering data-based research, is that long, intense, and demoralizing commutes directly impede innovation. These negative effects can be quantified in both the quality and quantity of innovative thinking among the crucial team members who drive business success.
Talent Recruitment and Commuting: Finding Solutions
All this recent research points in one direction: talent recruitment and commuting have strong, direct correlations. Businesses that address it in meaningful ways stand to reap competitive benefits as they reconfigure their workforces in the post-pandemic, post-Great Resignation era.
The Harvard Business Review and Randstad studies offer multiple relevant takeaways for employers:
- Reduce commuting distances. The most direct and effective way to address commute-related talent recruitment and retention woes is to reduce the distance team members must travel to get to work. As such, HR professionals and business strategists are increasingly urging businesses to improve their support for hybrid and fully offsite work to the greatest possible degree.
- Consider relocating. Some innovative companies have turned to relocating their physical offices to put them closer to the places where their most important contributors live. This approach may not work for every company and it won’t be feasible for others. However, if your business depends heavily on the contributions of your best people and relocating is an option, it may be worth considering.
- Improve transportation benefits. Building great transportation benefits into your employee compensation structure is a wise move endorsed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Even if you don’t have an employee transportation department, launching a commuter program can give your organization a major competitive advantage.
Pave Commute Can Aid Your Talent Recruitment and Commuting Efforts
Pave Commute is an app-based program for commuters that leverages behavioral science and artificial intelligence to provide each commuter with personalized planning and social support, and rewards them for making smart choices. Launch Pave Commute for your employees with a few clicks. There are plans to fit every type of organization. Get started today!
The team behind Pave Commute provides commute solutions used by top employers and government agencies around the world. If you want to learn more about applying science-based approaches to the commute, or if you are looking for technology to support innovative research, get in touch with us here.