How flexible workspaces can improve candidate experience

If your company has embraced remote and distributed work and has remote employees, chances are you’ve experienced the benefits flex workspaces bring to remote teams. But is there a way to use them to improve and tailor unique experiences for candidates?

Read more to find out how flexible workspaces can serve as a unique tool to ensure a smooth candidate experience, showcase culture, and make a great impression on your future employees!

An office experience in a flex space

Even in remote and distributed companies, candidates benefit from getting an in-person experience during their interview process. Companies, on the other hand, no longer need to have long-term office leases to provide this experience to their best candidates.

If the candidate and hiring manager are in the same city, it’s an excellent idea to organize the last round of interviews in a flex space or a coworking space. This experience can be particularly helpful for candidates who don’t have experience with working in a hybrid or distributed company where remote work and in-person connections come together.

Additionally, being together in a physical space for an interview can help candidates relax and make a better impression. For some people, dressing up for a meeting or interview has a positive psychological effect and helps them feel more confident.

Companies like Postclick are practicing meeting candidates in person in flex spaces, and their COO, Imran Syed, points out the great feedback they receive from candidates:

“Believe it or not, those Gable spaces are helping elevate the whole candidate experience to new levels. I haven’t had a candidate who didn’t say it was a seamless experience to meet the team and connect to the company culture instantly.” Read Imran's whole story HERE.

Experiencing connections in a remote company

So how can you convey the connection of a face-to-face encounter if your candidates aren’t in the same city as your hiring manager, recruiter, or People team? After all, that’s probably the most likely scenario for most remote teams.

Flexible workspaces can definitely come handy in this situation. You can book a day pass in a workspace for the candidate in their city and have them come to the space in person, even if the meeting they will be having will be a virtual one. Have the interviewers do the same thing in their city and come in for the day into a physical workspace.

This is an excellent example of how hybrid work and hybrid meetings can transcend the Zoom screen and get an in-person dimension even when people aren’t necessarily in the same location. For many candidates, this type of setup for a late-stage interview can showcase the intentionality of the company when it comes to good employee experience and demonstrate its flexibility policy.

Additionally, if you already have team members working in the city where your new candidate lives, you can schedule the interview on the day your team will be visiting the workspace. This way, candidates will be able to come in and meet their coworkers, have a better impression of the team and company, and even make some cross-departmental connections right off the bat.

Feeling the company culture firsthand

For candidates who reach the later stages of the hiring process, getting to see and experience the company’s workplace culture will be essential when considering whether to take the job.

Most employees want flexibility as part of their work but at the same time, miss in-person connections with coworkers. So it’s likely candidates will appreciate seeing the flexibility your company offers, as well as the spaces you provide for connection, collaboration, and relationship-building.

Whether there is an element of actually meeting current company employees or just doing a hybrid interview, using flex workspaces to paint the picture of what working in your company on a daily basis looks like is a unique way to show candidates what you’re about, instead of just talking about it.

What to consider when doing interviews in flex spaces

Hosting an interview in a coworking space is slightly different than doing it in your own office. As your company doesn’t own or operate the space, you’ll need to make some preparations to ensure your candidates have a smooth experience when they come into the space:

  • Make sure to book a workspace as close as possible to the candidate
  • Choose a workspace that has phone booths and/or meeting rooms so candidates can have the interview in a quiet area
  • If the candidate is not doing the interview in person, make sure to deliver a cup of coffee and some pastries for them to the workspace or send them a gift card instead

Meeting in person is part of the company culture

For both candidates and employees, seeing each other is essential in maintaining a sense of belonging and company culture — even in remote teams. The energy and serendipity we experience from seeing each other in the same space haven’t changed — but the purpose of our workspaces did.

For remote employees, in-person meetings are intentional and should be planned with a goal in mind. Whether it’s a company offsite, a monthly team meeting, or a candidate interview, it’s up to companies to be creative in designing and facilitating unique and positive experiences for everyone.

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Andrea Rajic