Every business dreams of a quality workforce filled with top talent; however, with competition high, it can be tricky to determine how you can ensure that your brand stands out from the crowd. Although in the past it was assumed that the potential for a salary increase was the only method to enticing talented applicants, this most definitely is no longer the case. There is now an abundance of excellent employee benefits which are ideal for developing a generous benefits package for those interested in joining your team.
Is A Salary Increase The Only Desirable Employee Benefit?
The short answer to the above question is no, a salary increase is not the only desirable employee benefit, meaning that it is imperative to source alternative ways of rewarding hardworking employees. In fact, according to a survey carried out by Glass Door, 79% of employees would prefer more unique perks instead of a pay rise. This means that if you are in the process of expanding your workforce and hoping to attract and retain top talent, it’s essential to begin shortlisting options, now more than ever in the current climate. Between 6th and 19th April 2020 alone, up to nine million people had been furloughed, meaning it is only a test of time until individuals become redundant. For more information on how COVID-19 will impact the job market, take a look at McKinsey & Company.
Desirable Employee Benefits To Attract Top Talent
Having spent many years supporting clients in varied industries, attracting top talent is something that our recruitment consultants in Milton Keynes and recruitment specialists in Leeds do best. They provide clients with invaluable support on how to devise tailored recruitment plans, filled with desirable employee benefits. While a salary increase does often play a pivotal role in retaining quality employees, there are a wealth of additional benefits that we would highly recommend considering. These all work towards developing a positive company culture, not only ensuring that current employees thoroughly enjoy their role in your brand, but from the outside, your company builds a reputation for a sought-after business to work for.
With this in mind, to help you to begin piecing together your employee benefit plan, we have put together the most desirable options for those across every industry:
- Flexible Working Hours
- Health Insurance Cover
- Structured Retirement Plan
- Health & Wellness Initiatives
- Option To Work Remotely
- Training & Educational Programmes
- Team Building Events
The UK work culture can be incredibly high-paced and demanding, especially for those attempting to enter their chosen field after finishing their education. This means that for many, working as many hours as possible with little time for breaks appears to be the only way to reach the top. However, this most definitely is not healthy, both physically and mentally, eventually impacting productivity and your ability to enjoy your role. As featured on the Mental Health Foundation website, work-related stress, alone, is thought to lead to 10.4 million days of leave a year with 40% of employees neglecting other aspects of their life down to a busy work schedule.
One excellent method of encouraging a steady work-life balance is to introduce flexible working hours, which, according to a study by Fractl has become a sought-after benefit for almost 90% of applicants. It allows employees to have far more control over their working day, altering their hours to suit the periods that they feel would be more productive. This is particularly beneficial for those who also have a family as it allows them to work the hours most convenient for their personal commitments. Their work will still be completed at the high standard expected within the given timeframe, yet without the added pressure of having to work in the evenings and weekends, for example.
Providing employees with a sense of security is a proven technique to attract top talent, and offering health insurance cover is by far the most effective way of achieving this. However, it is important to note that this can prove to be one of the most costly benefits, especially if you choose comprehensive cover for not only employees but also their immediate family. It is for this reason that many companies wait until they are better established with a steady turnover before considering this popular perk.
There are several different employee health insurance plans that you can choose from, which means that finding the best-fitting provider is likely to take a considerable amount of research. It is first vital to determine whether you will opt for health insurance, which covers employees for any issues that arise after the plan has been put in place or a health cash plan, used to provide ongoing payments for routine treatments. Once you have decided which route you will go down, you can then head over to the TechRound website, which features a list of the top ten plan providers.
It has been predicted that by 2028, the State Pension age will increase to 67, which means that a reliable retirement plan is often a necessity for potential applicants. Once set up, workplace pensions are relatively straightforward to manage and will involve both you, as the employers, along with the employee, contributing to the pension account each month. This amount can differ based on the scheme that you put in place with many companies increasing their offerings the more years that the employee stays within the business.
When implementing employee retirement plans, there will be three options to consider; these are:
- Defined Benefit Pension Scheme – These plans are calculated based not only on the earnings of the employee but also on how long they have been signed up to the scheme. This means that they do not always take into account additional incomings such as overtime and bonuses.
- Defined Contribution Pension Scheme – Along with the money contributed by you and your employer, this scheme type will also factor in cash built-up from investment returns and tax relief. Typically, contributions will be deducted from your salary before being taxed.
- Cash Balance Plan – A modern alternative to a pension is a cash balance plan, which is a mix between defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Your employer will pay into your pension using a percentage of your yearly compensation, and you also have the option to include a lifetime annuity.
In more recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals altering their lifestyle to take a healthier approach. We have all seen the hundreds of Instagram food pages filled with delicious, nutritious recipes, as well as personal trainers taking to social media to promote their sessions. This growing interest in fitness and wellness has most definitely imprinted in workplace benefits with a host of companies opting for offering initiatives for those who are hoping to improve their health. Fitness programmes are particularly popular amongst those who are based in an office environment, helping to give staff a break from their desks.
There are a plethora of ways in which you can implement wellness perks to your business, and your choice will be based on the scale of your company. For example, smaller, start-up organisations may offer free gym memberships or passes to fitness sessions for employees. Larger corporations, on the other hand, particularly those with their own premises, may consider transforming one of the rooms in their building into a gym. This will then be open to all employees, who will be given their own pass when joining the business. For a host of tips on how to set up an office gym, take a look at Morphe Us Gym Design.
With the current climate in mind, a significant percentage of the nation has been steadily adapting to working from home for the first time. However, have you considered making this a long-term option, allowing staff to work remotely a few days a week or even full-time, depending on the nature of your business? This perk remains one of the most sought-after qualities for applicants with 80% of individuals confirming that they would value the option.
Although it may not be feasible for all companies, for those who are based in an office or spend the majority of their day on the computer, working remotely can be incredibly beneficial, not just for employees but also employers. As one of the leading recruitment companies in London, we have even seen a vast increase in productivity since adapting a handful of our processes to take a remote approach. For instance, our digital interviewing has allowed clients to continue filling positions throughout the pandemic. At the same time, our online pre-employment screening means that we can ensure candidates are viable for roles; all of which is completed through the power of the internet.
Along with a boost in productivity, working remotely also comes alongside a wealth of additional benefits; these include the following:
- Saves money on commuting and equipment
- High employee retention rate as staff will not be forced to leave when they move house, for example
- Improved mental health due to reduced workplace stress
- More flexibility in terms of working hours
Particularly for those in the top talent pool, continuous development within a role will play a pivotal role in whether they apply. Individuals reap the opportunity to grow in their career, take on higher positions and perhaps even move into a different field as they develop. This means that if you are hoping to attract and retain quality candidates who can help your business to strive in your industry, offering training and educational programmes will be essential.
Much like wellness incentives, the scale of your training offerings will be subjective to the type of business you are recruiting for. Leadership programmes remain one of the most popular options with employers handpicking those who are performing the highest, then carrying them through management courses. This then allows organisations to adopt the internal hiring approach, which is ideal for saving time, money and speeding up the recruitment process. Other ways to reassure the development of staff is to arrange trips to industry-related workshops and seminars, giving them the opportunity to train in new skills.
It is the case for many that although you may win your dream role, if you do not fit with the working environment and ethos, you begin to look elsewhere. With this in mind, a positive, supporting company culture can make or break your ability to retain clients while forming a desirable first impression for potential candidates. The most effective way to maintain a great company culture is to regularly run team building events, whereby employees have the opportunity to get to know one another outside of the typical working environment. Being able to pitch this idea in your job description create the impression that you share genuine care for the wellbeing of employees, taking time out to allow your staff to connect and therefore, work better collectively when back in the workplace.
The Key To Attracting & Retaining The Best Of The Best
Our recruitment consultants in Bristol have worked with an abundance of clients who have noticed a significant increase in their ability to develop a talented workforce by altering their employee benefits. As mentioned above, the ideas that you choose to implement will be mainly based on the scale of your business, as well as the available budget, meaning that it may take trial and error to find those that work best for your workforce. Ultimately, the key is to assess your current employee, along with those that you wish to attract, then amend your offerings accordingly.