Posted On 21 Jul 2017
UK employment levels have reached a new record high, it’s clear that candidates are searching for their next career move with as much enthusiasm as ever. For those who make their way to the interview stage, discussing role requirements, company culture and candidate experience is common place. However, the equally important issue of salary and benefits is often tackled on tip-toes.
The subject may still be considered ‘taboo’ for some, but recent research conducted by Michael Page proved that today’s candidates aren’t shying away from negotiating a better deal for themselves with prospective employers – 73 per cent admitting that they have negotiated (or want to negotiate) a better benefits package for themselves when considering a new job.
In fact, addressing the employee value proposition at this early stage in the recruitment process is good practice for all involved. The interview room is the perfect place for both parties to agree on the best deal for everyone – and workplace benefits is a great starting point.
But are employers really prepared to flex in order to meet the demands of future employees, and if not, what do they risk by sticking to traditional fixed policies?
Top five work perks
If you’re considering relaxing your hold on fixed workplace benefits, what perks should you be offering your employees? A recent study asked respondents to list the benefits they ‘most wanted’ – number one was flexible working hours (71 per cent), followed by the option to work from home (55 per cent). Unlimited paid holiday entered the list at number three (46 per cent), closely followed by a company car or subsidised/free travel (43 per cent) and weekly free lunches came in at fifth (41 per cent).
Such benefits are reflective of the growing desire for a better work/life balance and a nationwide shift in attitude towards prioritising our personal wellbeing. However, stay away from unusual job benefits, like free massages – 70 per cent of employees think they’re nothing more than a gimmick!
Google may lay on a professional chef to cater for employees and Netflix may offer one year’s paid maternity and paternity leave to new parents, but valuable benefits don’t have to be all about grand gestures. Start-ups such as Perk Box and Work Perk, for example, offer an easy way for companies to show a token of appreciation to staff – from cinema tickets to food – and still reap the rewards of higher retention rates and happier, arguably more productive staff.
No matter how big or small your company, and whatever you decide to offer, providing the right mix of benefits and being flexible as an employer is essential if you want to compete in today’s job market.
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