Commute is King for Today’s Young Professionals

There’s an important lesson for hiring teams to take away from housing trends in today’s hot real estate market: don’t underestimate the importance of the drive to work.

Recently, the Toronto Region Board of Trade surveyed 1,100 professionals, aged 18 to 39. Forty per cent had a household income of more than $100,000. Eighty-seven per cent had a university degree, including 44 per cent, who had a graduate degree. Ninety per cent were employed full-time and 66 per cent lived in downtown Toronto.

When asked to rank their top three considerations in where to locate, 76 per cent of respondents said their daily commute was one of their top three considerations, ranking it ahead of distance to amenities (59 per cent) and the cost of living (53 per cent).

These findings serve as a reminder to hiring teams that the daily commute to work can be a deal maker or a deal breaker for potential candidates. In today’s competitive market for technical talent, if your location offers competitive advantages when it comes to the daily commute, you should be selling them. Here are some points to consider:

  • Does your location offer convenient access to major highways?
  • Is there easy access to public transit?
  • Is your office located close to recreational trails so employees can walk or bike to work?
  • Does your office offer amenities like bike racks and showers for employees who choose to ride their bike to work?
  • Does your company have a ride sharing system in place to help co-workers find carpooling partners?
  • Does your company offer any unique incentives for carpooling, such as designated or complimentary parking?
  • Do you offer work-from-home alternatives that allow employees to take a break from the daily commute?
  • Do you have satellite office locations, so employees have some choice about their daily commute?
  • Do you offer flexible hours, so employees can schedule their work day to avoid peak traffic times?
  • Are there convenient parking options for employees?

If your company has a great getting to work story, don’t forget to tell it. Take a look at the candidate’s address on their resume before the interview and offer specific details like typical travel time to the office from that location and public transit options. You can even let them know if there are other employees within your company that also commute or carpool from that location.

If the commute to your location could be viewed by candidates as a con instead of a pro, consider taking action to implement changes that could alleviate some potential concerns. Smart Commute is a program offered in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that helps employers explore and try out smart travel options such as walking, cycling, transit, carpooling and teleworking. Even if your company isn’t located within the program’s geographical boundaries, the Smart Commute website has company profiles and blog posts that offer great ideas for things your organization may want to consider to make its daily commute story more attractive to potential candidates.


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