Recruiting, Talent

Major Companies Use Proximity to Transit as Recruitment Selling Point

Employers go to great lengths to attract employees, especially in a strong job market, where employees often have greater bargaining power. One way employers seek to attract new talent is through higher wages.


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But, there are a number of other perks that are often used to entice, as well, such as flexible hours, premium health benefits, or greater amounts of vacation time. There also may be other benefits not often considered that can have a major impact.

The Potential Perks of Help Getting to Work

Sometimes, benefits available and provided within a community may prove to be of particular value to employees. McDonald’s is one company that recently discovered this, according to an NPR interview with Sheri Malec, director of workplace solutions for McDonald’s.
Schaper notes that while the location of the 80-acre park-like setting of the McDonald’s corporate offices worked well in the past, the lack of available transportation options is making it more difficult to recruit Millennials. That’s one of the reasons the company recently opened a new corporate headquarters just west of downtown Chicago. And that’s when it discovered something interesting.
“For a job open on my team a couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a young woman and she confided in me, you know, I really wouldn’t have applied for this job if it had been in Oak Brook because I don’t own a car,” says Malec.
The new headquarters is within walking distance of several train stations and bus stops. At this new location, 90% of the employees don’t drive to work, Schaper reports.

Thinking About Transportation

“This business boom around transit is not just an urban phenomenon. It’s happening in the suburbs, too,” says Schaper. “For instance, Caterpillar just moved its corporate headquarters from Peoria to a Chicago suburban location that is close to a commuter train station.”
The benefits of being located closer to effective public transportation for attracting and retaining employees is just one example of recruitment incentives that are outside of a company’s immediate control.
Relocating or opening a new headquarters isn’t a feasible option for many companies, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any local amenities in a city or community that can be advertised to potential job candidates. One just needs to think creatively to identify and promote them.