Businesses know that recruitment is competitive and candidates with the right qualifications, skills and attitude can be hard to come by. How you can you ensure that you stand out from your competitors when looking for new talent to join your team?

Nowadays it’s not just the salary that candidates look at when searching for a new job, with a company’s environment, culture and employee benefits being just as important. Millennials in particular take much more interest in what a company can offer besides just a wage, and according to more than half of workers they surveyed said that “employee benefits would make them feel happier at work.”

So what are the most popular work perks candidates are looking for and what are the advantages of these to a hiring company?

We’ve listed 10 of the most sought after benefits that could help you bag the top talent.

Flexible and Remote Working
According to research by TotalJobs, 59% of employees believe that flexible working is the most important benefit when looking for a new job, and 28% say they would move jobs if they did not have the option to work remotely. Being able to work flexibly is becoming increasingly important to candidates and it’s not unusual for us to speak to job searchers who would like to work at least one day a week from home.

Work is no longer seen as a place you go, but something you do, and the standard 9 – 5 routine is viewed as outdated by many. A lot of staff crave the freedom to work the days, hours and in a place that suits them and although it may seem daunting to implement, employers who offer flexibility and trust their employees to work in this way, can reap the rewards too.

Flexible working can help to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, enhance employee engagement and loyalty, while greatly increasing the pool of applicants for vacant roles. It can even help retain your current staff, who may start to look elsewhere for a better work-life balance, if they are not getting it with you.

Vodafone, Unilever and Transport for London are all companies who offer great flexible working solutions, according to an article by

Everyone appreciates their work being rewarded, so performance related bonuses or recognition for completing a particularly hard sale or project will always be gratefully received. They will also act as a motivator for employees which could lead to an increase in productivity for you! Bonuses are often offered in the form of money at the end of the month, or employees could be given shares in the company, but even a regular gift such as a box of chocolates, gift voucher or a meal out free of charge is a nice benefit which would go down well – it’s all about feeling valued in a role and if candidates know they will, they’re more likely to want to work for you.

With the cost of living ever increasing and people finding it harder to save, a company pension with a sizeable contribution from the employer can be an attractive benefit to a candidate. It’s also a perk that is likely to retain your top employees who will enjoy the security of knowing they will be well looked after when retirement comes.

Holiday Allowance
Time off is important for all employees. It gives them chance to recharge their batteries and spend time enjoying activities that are not related to work. But how many weeks is enough? Some companies such as Netflix, Eventbrite and LinkedIn have taken the bold move to offer unlimited holiday, meaning their employees can take as much paid time off as they feel they need, but this won’t be plausible for everyone.

However, think about whether you can offer time off for special events – moving house, a child’s first day of school or birthdays, whether you can afford to shut down at Christmas, or even add a few more days onto the standard holiday allowance – it could be the difference between finding your ideal new recruit, or struggling for applications to a vacancy.

Enhanced Maternity Leave
Starting a family or welcoming a new baby is a big milestone for any member of your team and being able to really enjoy this life event is a valuable benefit for any employee. Enhanced maternity and paternity leave is becoming a popular work perk to offer and Lansons PR in London is a great example of this. Paying more than the statutory maternity pay or allowing new dads an extra week off can be more appreciated and valued than you realise and will show prospective employees that you care about their work-life balance.

Personal and Professional Development
Do you offer your staff training on a regular basis? Another important factor for employees is the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally in a role. A lot of the candidates we talk to want to know that as well as using the talents and experience they already have, a company is willing to invest in them and their future by paying for regular training and courses to enhance their skill-set.

This doesn’t mean they’re likely to go and use these skills elsewhere – quite the opposite – if they feel valued and know that there is a clear path of progression for them, they are more likely to want to stay and repay the company who has helped their career so far.

Free gym memberships
Providing staff with a free gym membership, having gym equipment on site or even offering a discount with a local fitness centre can do wonders for your staff’s well-being and morale. Office workers often sit down all day, which is well known for not being the healthiest way to spend your waking hours, and sometimes it can be a struggle to find time for a gym routine or afford that membership. Providing it for your staff will give them an incentive to use it, improving their physical and mental health, which can only be a good thing for you.

Healthy snacks and drinks
Along the same lines of looking after your staff’s well-being, providing workers with healthy breakfasts, lunches or just free snacks and drinks throughout their working day is becoming increasingly popular. A good breakfast at the start of the day could help employee’s productivity and ensuring workers stop for a proper lunch break with their team could also help boost morale and improve employee relationships. This perk can also benefit the employer in other ways. For example, providing a fresh bowl of fruit daily for staff to snack on could even help ward off colds and flu, which in turn would limit the amount of time staff are having off sick. Food for thought.

Team socials
We spend a lot of our lives at work, so getting along with colleagues is paramount. Having time to socialise with workmates is great for staff morale and if staff can work with people they count as friends, they’re likely to be happier at work which is a great benefit for a company. How often do your team get together outside of work? Are there opportunities to socialise often or could you implement a monthly lunch to enable your team to bond? Teams who get on well are more likely to produce brilliant results.

Pets at work
Some candidates love the idea of bringing their pets to work. What could be better than having a friendly dog to play with when you’re starting to feel a bit stressed out? Pet friendly work spaces are definitely on the up and can help to reduce employee’s stress levels. Also, it gives staff an excuse to get some fresh air and exercise if a dog needs walking, which can only improve their well-being and mean good things for your business.

With the competitiveness of the job market in 2018 it’s important for employers to think outside the box about what they can offer their new recruits. Of course, some of the work perks listed above may be more difficult to offer for smaller companies, but it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s not all about the money.

According to research by Canada Life, 85% of employees said that they were more inclined to work for organisations who clearly labelled the perks of a job in the job advert, with the figure being even higher for workers aged 25 to 34 (94%). It’s clear that work perks play a huge part in the decision making process for employees so remember to be transparent about what you can offer when recruiting.

If you have vacancies to fill, why not speak to our expert team? Our Recruitment Consultants can offer help and advice about today’s market and find the right candidates to fit into your team. Email us today or call 0203 585 7286.

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