It used to be that if you wanted to attract staff away from your competition, you had to offer them a bigger salary. Now, particularly in the more competitive industries, it isn’t always a simple case of “we’ll pay you more than the other guys”. Highly sought-after employees often attract competition from employers that extends far beyond the basic salary.
Employee benefits are increasingly seen as something to look for in a job, and employers that are looking to attract the best talent might well like to consider the benefits that they could offer to their staff. For example, research carried out by Engage Mutual looked into the most popular benefits for employees and found that most of them – 55% – would like to have flexible working hours.
This suggests that for many employees, if they were given the choice between working for a company that offered them flexible working and one that was much stricter about the hours they had to work, they would be more likely to go for the former. And this isn’t the only benefit that employers should be looking at if they want to compete for the best employees.
As you might expect, pensions are also a popular benefit, particularly at a time when we are all expecting to live and work longer – knowing that we will enjoy a good retirement is hugely important. The research mentioned above also found that healthcare contributions are favoured by a significant percentage of employees perks such as international medical insurance could therefore be something for employers to consider, particularly if the company requires its staff to travel abroad on a regular basis.
We can also identify plenty more benefits that could enhance an employee’s package on top of their basic salary – stock options, life insurance, childcare vouchers, relocation loans, cycle to work schemes and even travel insurance, to name just a few. Many of these benefits are taxable, but that does not mean that they should be ignored. They could well add more value to an employee’s package than simply adding to their salary defined benefits can give staff security and make them feel valued. This is because it’s not just about the money, it’s also about quality of life.
At a time when the economy is still somewhat shaky and many staff are concerned about their security even when they work in sought-after professions, these sorts of benefits could well be what employers need to stand out from the crowd and convince the very best staff that their company is a great place to work.