Whether you have spent your budget on hiring a new team, or are a small business with little expenses to hand out to employees, guaranteeing big bonuses or expensive days out cannot always be feasible. However, while money may be a factor in a candidate’s decision, additional benefits can drastically change a candidates opinion of you and your business. There are plenty of inexpensive employee benefits that mean a lot to your team and candidates, and take little effort to implement into your business. In fact, according to an article on Harvard Business Review, among the top ten most desirable benefits are flexible hours, more holiday and better wellbeing programmes. But what are the most important benefits candidates are looking for?

Inexpensive Employee Benefits To Attract Candidates

As a leading recruitment agency in London and the surrounding areas, our experienced and specialist team has worked with both candidates and businesses to refine and improve recruitment processes. Through this experience, we have come across many candidates looking for specific benefits from a company, and the majority of these benefits have nothing to do with pay. Instead, candidates are seeking for opportunities that allow them to develop their expertise, create a healthy work-life balance and have an impact on your business.

Whether you are looking to create an employee scheme that retains top talent, or would like to stand out to candidates, we would highly advise that you take inexpensive employee benefits into consideration. Having worked alongside candidates in search for their dream job, these are the top seven benefits that attract them to a business:

employees being praised

Flexible Working Hours

A benefit that has gradually been brought into the workplace of many small and large businesses is the advantage of flexible working hours. This is where you allow employees to work at hours that best suit them, as long as they work a set number of hours in the day. For example, if employees work a 7-hour day, then you could allow them to work between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm. Through this, employees are allowed to start at times that work around their home life, such as starting earlier to spend time with the kids in the evening. This inexpensive benefit has its advantages for both the employee and the employer, such as the following:

Benefits for the Employee

  • Reduces stress levels
  • Helps create a good work-life balance
  • Beneficial in the winter when it gets dark early
  • Allows for more time with family
  • Less stress on travelling in for specific times

Benefits for the Employer

  • Helps to retain top talent
  • Promotes productivity
  • Sick absence is less likely
  • Motives employees
  • Costs nothing and no working hours lost

Along with flexible working hours, you can also consider seasonal working hours, which will further enhance employee satisfaction and wellbeing. This is where employees work long hours in the winter months so that they can work fewer hours in the summer. The reason this works well within a business is that it helps to promote productivity throughout the year. Nationwide has put together a handy article on how to implement summer hours and whether it is right for your business.

employee with child

Professional Development Opportunities

Particularly for young candidates, professional development is a key benefit that they will be looking out for when applying for positions. This makes it one of the most vital benefits to include when recruiting to ensure you obtain top talent. Candidates want to know that they have the opportunity to grow within your business, particularly when starting out in their career. Additionally, education opportunities will also be eye-catching for candidates, as it will give them the chance to develop their skills and knowledge to move forward in their career. In fact, according to Business of Fashion, career development and opportunities to learn more about the industry are considered as more important than pay. This makes it an important factor to consider when recruiting, especially when looking for a high-quality candidate that you hope to keep within your business.

As one of the leading specialist sales recruitment agencies in Manchester, we have found that our client’s success in finding viable candidates for their team can be greatly impacted by the progression opportunities that they offer. When a candidate is given the opportunity to progress in their career with your business, they know that with it comes great experience, responsibility, new challenges and pay rises. Some of our clients offer the following professional development opportunities, all of which we think you should take into consideration:

  • One-to-one teaching with experienced employees
  • Seminar courses
  • Self-study courses
  • Networking with professionals
  • Job shadowing
  • Invitations to all relevant internal conferences
  • Mentoring sessions

work seminar

Weekly or Monthly Team Building Activities

Company culture will play a significant role in employee retention, and one of the easiest ways to encourage a positive workplace is to have regular team-building sessions. You can choose whether you spend money on team building or encourage employees to get creative. For example, every other month, you could treat the team to a meal out or some drinks at a local bar during lunch hours. On the other hand, if you are looking for inexpensive team building, then having a ‘Friday bake day’ every week or allowing team members to socialise on Friday afternoons can dramatically impact the working environment. This is important as candidates will be looking for a work environment that they can not only thrive in professionally but socially as well.

Mental Health Plans

Supporting employees when they need it the most is another benefit that many employers forget about. Whether it is through work-related stress or bereavement, having a wellness plan allows candidates to feel confident that they will be supported if the going gets tough. Included in this can be time off for the loss of a loved one, support programmes for those going through problems at home and counselling sessions for those being affected by something in the workplace. Setting up a mental health plan is fairly inexpensive, and can be achieved by downloading the helpful and free wellness action plan guide on Mind.

discussing stress

Unlimited Holiday

Everyone values their holiday, so the number of days that they are allowed to take can impact their decision to work for you. While the idea of unlimited holiday can come along with multiple concerns, it is a great way to create a positive and productive working environment. Through unlimited holiday, employees are more likely to work harder in order to make sure their work has been complete before taking time off. It creates a mutual respect between you and your employees, which is ideal for new team members. Natural HR has put together a list of the 6 pros and cons to unlimited holiday, which can help you decided whether this is a good option for your business.

Internal Discounts

For those with a business that offers a product or common service, offering employee discount can help you to draw the attention of candidates. Everyone loves a discount, and by offering a large discount to employees, you can easily retain top talent. In fact, many candidates will be looking for a job within a business that they love or admire, meaning that the prospect of a discount is extremely inviting for many. If you are unable to offer employees internal discounts because of the type of business or service you provide, then there are plenty of other ways you can offer discounts to employees. For example, companies such as Taste Card offers exclusive discounts that can help your employees save on meals out and trips to the cinema. If this is too expensive, then you can always offer the card to the employee of the month, for example. This will help to promote productivity within your business and help with talent retention.

paying with discount

Working From Home

If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that our home life is extremely valuable, and being able to spend time with our loved ones, even if it’s just at lunchtime during working hours, can have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Many businesses, small and large, have decided to move their teams into home working as it helps to save money as well as promote productivity. Unlike working in an office, employees are now able to spend their lunch break relaxing and don’t have to worry about a long commute to and from work. The major benefits this has to them is that they are able to spend less on travel, more time with their family, and as soon as they finish work, they can relax.

As the pandemic has caused concern for many, a lot of the candidates that have come to our team for assistance have been looking for new opportunities that allow them to work from home; whether that be indefinitely or temporarily. It’s extremely easy to incorporate home working into your business structure, and this can allow employees to work from home all the time, or come in for touchpoints once or twice a week. If this is something you are planning to implement into your business, then we would highly recommend refining your communication processes. You can find a range of team communication platforms on Dial My Call, some of which you can get for free without having to pay for the advanced version.

women working from home

Retain Top Talent With Employee Benefits

For many, pay is not the only reason they look for new opportunities, and professional progression tends to be the most significant reason a candidate will apply for a role. This comes to an advantage for your business, as it means that you can implement a range of inexpensive solutions that are greatly attractive to candidates. Applying some of the benefits listed above into your business strategy can help you to find high-quality and hardworking candidates to become part of your team. If you are in need for further assistance with your recruitment process and would like additional expertise and advice, then please feel free to get in touch with our leading sales, finance and IT recruitment agencies in Birmingham and the surrounding areas.