March 2nd, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Job Candidates Seek Well-Rounded Employee Benefits

Young woman shaking hands

Over 30% of our lives are spent working which adds up to 25 to 30 years of just work. Organizations understand this and try to make their employees time at work more comfortable. Happy employees are more productive, creative and stay in their jobs longer. Job seekers are looking for companies who offer benefits that match their needs. In this candidate driven job market, employers have to find ways to enhance their job offerings to be competitive for new hires. One such way is to offer the candidate an array of benefits and perks from the traditional to ones focusing more on work-life balance.

Examples of Best Benefits

Companies come in all sizes-big and small. The bigger the company, the more money they could have to spend on large-scale employee benefits packages. Start-ups and tech companies are well known for having great perks from free meals to extended maternity and paternity leave to paid days off for volunteering. Fast Company listed a few of these well-known companies and their employee perks:

  • Netflix offers one paid year of maternity or paternity leave to new parents
  • Salesforce gives employees six days of paid volunteer time off a year as well as $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice
  • Airbnb gives its employees and annual spend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world
  • PwC offers its employees $1,200 per year for student loan reimbursement
  • Adobe shuts down the entire company for one week in December and one week over the summer
  • Twitter offers three catered meals a day, on-site acupuncture and even improve classes

What Does a Job Seeker Want?

In today’s competitive job market, candidates are looking for more than just salary. They are looking for a company where they can learn new things, feel that their work is meaningful to the company and are happy. If employees are happy, they tend to work harder and be more productive with less turnover, higher revenue and productive operations.

Happiness comes into play when job seekers are looking for a new job. According to a 2016 Glassdoor survey, 77% of people looking for a job value reviews and ratings from employees when making a job decision. Companies who are transparent during the hiring process, training and throughout the job have a recruiting advantage. Glassdoor also found that 57% of people reported that benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job. A generous benefits package is more and more important for attracting and retaining top talent.

Most Desirable Employee Benefits

Harvard Business Review partnered with Fractl in “The Most Desirable Employee Benefits” to get a better understanding on what benefits job seekers place as most desirable. The report also finds also that employers do not need to spend large sums of money to offer attractive job benefits to candidates. Researchers surveyed over 2,000 people of all ages to see what they thought about having a high-paying job versus a lower-paying job with more perks. As expected the survey found that the top-valued benefit (88%) was having good health, dental and vision insurance plan. These are also the benefits with the largest costs to a company.

The next most valued benefits were focused on flexibility at the workplace. People value benefits that enhance work-life balance, especially those employees with families. These types of benefits include flexible hours, work from home options, more vacation time and even unlimited vacation time. Flexible hours and work from home options are affordable perks for companies and small businesses that can’t afford expensive benefit packages. They typically cost the employer next to nothing and can even save a business money in overhead costs.

One such benefit that is slowly getting gaining more popularity in businesses, especially start-ups, is unlimited vacation time. Every year, Americans neglect to take up to three or more days of their allotted vacation time leaving $224 Billion in unused and wasted vacation time. Some, not all, employers pay out unused vacation time causing an additional expense at the end of every year (or when the employee leaves the company.) Contrary to what employers might expect, unlimited time off doesn’t necessarily equal less productive employees and more time away from the office.

The next highest ranking benefit is student loan and tuition assistance. The job benefits that don’t directly affect an individual’s lifestyle and finances, such as free coffee, snacks and team outings, were the least coveted. However, it was interesting to find that more men are likely to choose these types of perks over women. Overall, the survey found that providing the right mix of benefits which are both inexpensive and highly sought after by job seekers can give a competitive edge to businesses that can’t afford high salaries pricey perks.

It is All About the Candidate Experience

It is becoming more critical for companies to create a better candidate experience from the very beginning – starting with the hiring process, background screening and onboarding. Employee well-being is reflected in everything a company does from production to promotion. Offering the right benefits to a candidate plays a big role in ensuring their future happiness at the organization. One way to boost candidate experience and improve happiness is by having an onboarding policy in place for new employees. If new hires feel welcome and have more of a work-life balance at their new jobs, then they are more likely to stay longer. Find out ways to improve your company’s onboarding procedures by downloading our white paper, Your Complete Guide to Onboarding from Decision to Day One.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.