For top talent, stay in the city

David Patrick argues that today’s top workers are found in the city.
David Patrick argues that today’s top workers are found in the city.
David L Ryan/The Boston Globe

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One of the lessons I’ve learned as the CEO of my third startup in the Boston area since 2000 is the location of the company has become more critical than ever. Employee recruitment and retention is one of our top priorities. Increasingly we’ve found employees now want to be in the city – where they can walk, bike, or take the T to work. Overall the demographic of young workers has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. More and more we’re finding the top employee talent lives in the city.

It used to be that start-up companies wanted to be out in the suburbs, where employees could raise their family, buy a home and get away from city life. Now, though, it’s the other way around; recently, one of my employees told me that she gets anxious just thinking working in the suburbs. She lives in the North End and commutes to work each day using the new Hubway bike system.

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Additionally, being in the city means employees have more to do after work; they now live, work, eat, and socialize in locations near the office. While this isn’t true across the board, we often hear of suburb-dwelling staffers wanting to get away from their office park environments the moment the day is over. Being in Fort Point has been a huge advantage to Apperian’s hiring efforts.

We see the trend of employees living and working in the city as here to stay—even raising their families in town as they get older. I’ve started to notice more families in my neighborhood in Back Bay. Apperian has no plans to move regardless of what size we grow to, and this, we believe will continue to make us an attractive company for prospective employees.