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Does your office make a good first impression on prospective employees? Does it matter?

A decade ago, little thought was given to workplace branding or the subliminal messages we were sending to potential job candidates during interviews.

Today, however, things are different, and the impression of your office that a recruit leaves with is just as important as the perception you have of them.A recent article in Area Development stated, “An office space … is a visual testament to how the company invests in idea creation, productivity, and human capital.”

Is Your Office Giving the Right Impression?

How does your office space stack up? Is it a visual testament to how you invest in your workers? Does it help the recruit understand your product, work style, and philosophy?

To find out if your office is giving the right impression, start by asking your current employees what they think.

  1. What message is the entry/reception area sending to visitors?
  2. What was your first impression when you visited?
  3. What impressions should we be conveying to visitors?
  4. What changes would you make to reception areas and meeting rooms where you conduct interviews?

Then take a look at the workspace yourself and determine improvements that would help your organization make the right statement. Try to imagine you’re the visitor. What type of business would you expect to be conducted here?

Meeting Rooms Are Also Interview Spaces

Maybe you’d like to say “warm and friendly” or “innovative” but the conference rooms are painted a cold grey. Changing the color may benefit both potential job candidates and workers who use the conference rooms for other purposes.

Consider green to convey innovation or muted oranges (think terra cotta) for helping people relax. Interestingly, white conference rooms may be the worst – according to Sherwin-Williams, individuals were found to make the most mistakes in white rooms, at least in the short-term.

Meeting rooms where interviews take place should be inviting and comfortable for both the interviewer and interviewee.

Select lights that are bright enough for work but not harsh or jarring. Position furniture so it allows for movement and captures a feeling of openness. But don’t go too far and make the room seem empty – unless your company style is police-interrogation-room minimalism.

If the furniture is uncomfortable or a style that’s inconsistent with your organizational brand, start shopping for replacements. Tables in interview conference rooms should allow for natural conversation. Chairs should roll easily, and be supportive and comfortable. Furniture shouldn’t squeak or make other noises that imply the office is poorly maintained.

You and your coworkers invest considerable time in every candidate you interview, making sure the position and culture are a good mutual fit. Be sure your workspace gives candidates the right impression, too.