I occasionally look at classified ads of companies seeking employees. In a large number of them, two things stick out as compromising the productivity and competitiveness of firms. Small decisions or non-decisions that lead to failing to change, add up.
First is location. Are you going to get creative employees if you’re located in an out-of-the-way location? How about not being on transit lines? Or being located distant from your desired hires? No. Heard about a non-profit that moved out of Dupont Circle, “Why would I want to stay? There’s no train, no parking, nowhere to eat lunch, and no one nearby to each lunch with!”
Second is technology choice. If you have too varied, legacy, or just plain unappealingly technology in your job descriptions, good candidates are going to look on to ads asking people to work with tools that will better develop their career potential. Cold Fusion and Lotus Notes come to mind. Consolidating on as few technologies attracts competent specialists. When I see an ad looking for someone to maintain a long list of software titles, I think, “Good luck finding someone willing to do that – never mind someone good at it.”
If you think you are saving money by having low rent and retaining old technology, you are likely being penny wise and dollar foolish.