Want to hire good people? What perks and benefits do you offer?

MTA media headhuntersIn a candidate-driven jobs market smart employers need to go the extra mile to secure the services of high-quality people. Often, the best person to fill a vacancy isn’t even looking to change roles, so what can a prospective new employer do to garner their interest?

A new challenge and more money are usually the entry-level requirements, but when a prospect is already sufficiently well-off and is meeting challenges on a daily basis, what other incentives are likely to draw their attention?

Martin posted a blog last week about why salaries may not be the only consideration, and a couple of recent polls have attempted to find out how attractive other benefits may be to current and potential employees. Not surprisingly, on the surface, the two surveys have radically different findings.

According to the survey by workplace website Glassdoor, good quality perks and benefits are likely to be one of the key appointment trends in 2016. The study says that nearly three in five people (57%) claim the benefits and perks on offer were among their top considerations before accepting a job.

But another study, this one by jobs site CV-Library, finds that workplace perks are ‘pointless’ and most employees would rather be remunerated than pick up additional in-work extras of this kind.

The CV-Library survey of UK workers found that almost a quarter of staff (24.3%) benefit from at least one form of workplace perk from their employer.

Of those receiving perks, 24% said they would rather have the money – and overall the study found that, given the choice, 84.5% of workers would rather receive a bonus instead of workplace perks.

Furthermore, almost three-quarters (71.2%) of staff felt businesses often positioned basic necessities as in-work perks and more than half (50.8%) felt that perks were ‘just a fad’. If forced to choose a perk, most staff would take additional holiday (40.8%) or something practical that saved money.

Although the two studies might seem to contradict each other, what they actually highlight is the difference in the kind of benefits people are willing to accept.

Gimmicky benefits, or those focused on the individual, are often of less interest than an employer simply offering more cash or holiday time. Who, for instance, would rather have a massage at work than an extra day off?

In the CV-Library study, perks like at-desk massages or lunchtime yoga weren’t found to be favourable at all, with just 2.1% saying they would take these choices.

Quirky benefits might not be of interest, but when it comes to benefits around the family – flexible working, health provision, the setting of high-standards around maternity and paternity – then that’s when candidates sit up and take notice.

This is a point that Martin also highlighted last week, saying what’s important to most employees is the culture: their immediate boss and team, the ambitions of the business, the ability of the company to meet the employee’s personal needs for working arrangements.

What new perks, asks Glassdoor, will hit in 2016? Time will tell, it says, but it’s likely benefits will chime with those Martin specified last week, with perks that to ‘help make employees’ lives easier in and out of work, especially those with families’.

Glassdoor highlights how: “Netflix has announced that it added unlimited employee maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

“Airbnb gives employees an annual stipend of $2,000 a year to travel anywhere in the world, while Asana employees have access to executive and life coaching services outside of the company.”

A job has to be rewarding, yes; but, increasingly, if the employer wants to attract the best people, it also has to complement life away from the office and make those two parts rub along in greater harmony.