When doing an online search for “where do millennials want to live," you will find one very common word among the 10 pages of results: downtown. As the millennial generation grows older, settles down and has children, they aren’t migrating to the suburbs like their parents did. Why should this concern your company? We have been seeing a trend of companies going where the talent is, rather than bringing the talent to them. Although you’ll be paying higher rent for office space, parking, etcetera, the value that you will find in the skilled talent that wants to work in a bustling metropolis will prove an attractive ROI and with the way things are going, you’ll be seen as competitive in the hot job market.

With millennials being the largest generation in the workforce, it’s important to recognize what they value and search for in an employer. There was a large influx in the so-called “non-traditional” office perks in the last decade or so while they began to enter the workforce, but now that some of those have become more of a norm, location seems to be the latest rage among these workers.

So, you may be asking, “should we move downtown?” The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no, but here’s a few things that your company should consider in the conversation:

  • Your overall business strategy: maybe you want to consolidate offices and keep your workforce in a central location. On the flip side, maybe you’ve outgrown your current space and need to find something bigger and a relocation to a downtown metro may tie into your talent acquisition strategy.
  • Your talent acquisition strategy: as mentioned previously, location has become a strong value point with the largest generation in the workforce, and that is something that you don’t want to ignore. For example, if you have a large population of tech workers and have difficulties filling skilled roles, look where your talent is and chances are, you’ll probably find them downtown. On the other hand, we can’t neglect talent retention which may be affected by a relocation from the suburbs. There’s a balance to be struck between these two competing forces.
  • Tax incentives: you may consider moving across state lines to a state that offers tax credits and rebates for corporations that relocate. Although even if you don’t move to another state, you still may benefit from incentives such as investing in a new or expanded company headquarters.
  • Company image: image says a lot about a company, whether it's good or bad. If you hear negative buzz from candidates or current employees about your location, don’t turn a blind eye. Feedback like this could be detrimental to your talent acquisition or retention. If you have to “sell” reasons why employees should move to or work where your office is located now, that may be a sign to reconsider your location(s) and related company image.
  • Customer base: depending on your line of business, consider taking a step closer to your customers.

Making the decision to relocate your company is no small accord. It involves stakeholder buy-in and input, a lot of money and stress for your employees. You may find that the pros outweigh the cons. At the end of the day, do what you feel is best for your current and future employees. After all, what is a company without its workforce?