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Help Wanted! A Student’s Perspective on Attracting and Retaining Talent

October 9, 2018
  • Workplace

As a college student, I enjoy any number of freedoms on campus. I can decide where I study and when. I determine what time of the day I get my work done. It’s totally up to me if I work at a Starbucks, at a library or outdoors. This is not unique to my college experience. Students everywhere have the flexibility to establish their routine and their study and work habits.

What happens when we leave campus life and enter the corporate world? As an intern at KI, I learned quickly through their research on collegiate and workplace design that many of us end up “lost in transition”. What we assume to be standard work environments (large, open, collaborative workspaces) are all too often not standard at most organizations. Deciding when and where we accomplish our work is also much more limited. This could lead to potential employee disengagement.

How can businesses remedy this disconnect? The impact of corporate design and its relation to the attraction and retention of new talent cannot be understated!

During my time with KI, I conducted a survey with my fellow interns asking about their study/work habits, expectations when evaluating a future employer and much more. Click here to view a previous post on the survey results. When it comes to the impact of workplace design at a potential employer, the results are clear - 75% of interns stated that the physical office space of a company would influence their decision to accept a position there.

An interesting fact about my generation… we don’t feel tied down to one city or one job. Sixty-three percent of interns surveyed at KI plan to explore employment options away from where they currently live, and more importantly, 93% of interns would look for other options if dissatisfied with their current employer.

Just as companies look for job candidates who impress, we look for prospective employers who impress us. Workplace design is just one factor, but a very important factor, when considering our options.

Fortunately for most corporations, the course of action is clear and the expectations are set. Colleges are providing a road map for how my generation wants to work. It is the responsibility of businesses to adopt that standard if they hope to remain competitive when attracting potential hires.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of collegiate design in the workplace, check out KI’s white paper, “Collegiate Design: The New Driver for Workplace Design”.


Tyler Webb spent the summer of 2018 as a Marketing Communications Intern at KI. Tyler currently attends the University of Minnesota where he is majoring in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing.


by KI Furniture 

KI manufactures innovative furniture and wall system solutions for education, workplace, healthcare and government markets.


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