social issues are affecting candidates’ employment decisions.

Young professionals are more interested in social issues than they have been in years. Concerns about the environment, poverty, community, and inequality have shaped their decision-making processes. This affects what they look for when job hunting. The architectural field is one area that has seen the impact of this shift in perspective. Architecture is one profession that meets these issues head-on by finding design solutions that work to mitigate these humanitarian issues. Solving these issues starts within each firm and to win the war for talent, leading firms know this is a great employee branding element. Here are some ways social issues are affecting candidates’ employment decisions.

Equality and Inclusion Are Extremely Important

The entire architecture industry is moving toward an equitable viewpoint. On the one hand, young professional want to work in diverse environments. They expect to see women and minorities represented. They also expect pay to be equitable. On the other hand, things like privilege and nepotism are looked down upon. They expect an employee’s worth to be based on how well they perform, the ideas one brings and the solutions one finds. The idea of all of your staff rowing the same way is very important. Firms cannot get away with hiring unqualified professionals because they will affect your ability to attract and retain talent in the future.

The New Way of Doing Everything

While the old guard cares about how accessible parking is, this isn’t a priority for younger professionals. Baby boomers might not want to have to park three blocks away and would prefer an expanded parking lot or garage. However, many millennials would question why you would add parking if mass transit is nearby. Young professionals are attracted to urban environments that allow for a melting pot of cultures, influences, and ideas. Millennials tend to care more about environmental issues, social equity, and other progressive issues. They are looking closely at your company’s policies and are making decisions based on what they see. Do you have on-site recycling? What kind of carbon footprint does the office building have? Does your firm have an environmentally responsible mission? While no firm can meet all of these needs it is important to have some policies around these progressive ideas AND make sure you share what you are doing and have done on your website and social media.

Friction Between Old and New School

This is an exciting time for the architectural field, but there is also a lot of tension between old and new school. Older professionals spent decades learning the craft and paying their dues. The high interest that young professionals have in social issues has given them a different framework. They’re used to taking action and finding creative solutions to things in the now. They don’t see the need, or the benefit, in waiting to solve the problem until their dues are paid. They don’t want to do the same thing that those who came before them did. They want to jump right in and start solving problems right away. This can lead to friction from older generations who want to see them pay the same dues that they did. It takes some time to see things from a different point of view but when you do, you open up a very successful future for your firm.

When young professionals make career decisions, they aren’t just thinking about money and convenience. They’re looking for a work environment that will make them feel empowered. They also want to work for a company that is socially responsible. They’re looking at how inclusive a company is and what impact the company has on the environment, among other things. To appeal to young professionals, smart firms will adjust their company culture accordingly.


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