Snacks are nice. So are gym memberships. Dog-friendy offices... ugh, don't get me started.
On top of competitive salary and benefits, companies tout a litany of perks to try to attract and retain top talent. But if you're in the hiring seat, don't overlook the perk that matters most.
There's a lot to be said for a short, easy commute. Keeping commute times to a minimum weighs heavily into how happy and satisfied people are with their jobs.
A recent LinkedIn survey found that more than 85 percent of respondents would take a pay cut for a shorter commute. If candidates are deciding between between two offers, they may be more likely to take the one with the shorter commute -- even if it pays less.
See commute time before you even apply
LinkedIn knows commute time can sway applicants one way or the other. So they've begun to add this information to job postings. LinkedIn just rolled out a feature called Commute Time on their mobile app.
Here's how it works. LinkedIn gathers data from the job posting to determine a precise-as-possible location of the position. For jobs that don't have the location listed, LinkedIn engineers synced up with the Bing Maps team to customize the Bing AutoSuggest API.
Underneath all the information about a job posted on LinkedIn, there's a new module called See Your Commute. Type in your address, select a time and choose from the transportation options listed: car, public transportation or walk. LinkedIn will tell you how long it takes via your preferred transportation method and provide a mini map with the route.
Are you a bike commuter? You're out of luck. That's not one of the transportation options. As of now, Commute Time is only available on LinkedIn's mobile app. LinkedIn says Commute Time is gradually being rolled out and is not yet available to all members.
It's not that candidates couldn't do their own research about commute times by pulling up Google Maps and doing the exact same search. But with this information tied directly to the job posting itself, it makes things a whole lot more seamless.
When you can't improve commute times
As a hiring manager, commute time isn't something you can control. You can't exactly pick up and move the entire office to a more desirable location so you can lure in more candidates with a short commute. But you can offer work from home days. You don't need to transition into an entirely remote office, but some companies are experimenting with one or two work-from-home days each week.
There are different ways to go about this. You could designate certain days as work from home for the entire office. Or you can allow employees to pick which days they want to work from home. If you're worried about people abusing their freedom, set a limit on how many days you allow each week or month and require that they select their remote days ahead of time.
It's not just a way to keep employees happy. You might see gains in productivity, too. Remote workers outperform office workers.