The Top Perks Prospective Candidates Actually Want
When employers screen candidates, they’re trying to figure out whether they have the skills, personality, and work ethic to fit in at a company and support its goals. Similarly, as candidates apply for jobs and get interviewed, they’re gauging whether they’d feel fulfilled working at the company and whether the job would give them the benefits they want and need.
That’s why it’s crucial to highlight what your company offers its employees. As you aim to find the best candidates in the talent pool, you’re also trying to entice them to join your team. Here are eight of the benefits that people prioritize most often when looking for work.
1. Comfortable Work Environments
When researchers polled North American workers, they found they most often wanted comfortable workplaces. More specifically, 58% of people ranked air quality as the most essential characteristic. Then, 50% mentioned lighting, and 34% of respondents brought up the temperature as something that made workplaces more pleasant.
These findings emphasize the importance of getting the basics right. You might also give people wireless headsets or fitness trackers, but those extras aren’t as meaningful if employees describe the workplace as an uncomfortable or unproductive place.
Consider showing off your workplace to candidates by giving them links to a photo gallery or video tour. During an interview, you could also mention that every desk includes a mini air purifier and adjustable-brightness lamp and that your company installed smart thermostats this year.
2. Competitive Salaries
Many people say they don’t mind earning a little less while doing work they genuinely enjoy. However, the fact remains that your company will have difficulty competing with other organizations if your salary ranges are substantially lower than what they offer.
Also, if salaries are too low across the board at your company, that issue could have a detrimental effect on morale. Consider how people may feel underappreciated and stressed if they’re working hard but barely making enough money to live without worry.
It’s understandable if people make different amounts based on their experience, role, and other aspects. However, try to give candidates accurate perspectives on how much they can earn and which factors affect it. For example, you could provide the base or estimated earnings in your job ads, then discuss a few variables that influence them while interviewing someone.
3. Paid Vacation
When people get time off, it’s easier for them to strike a healthy work-life balance. However, when their jobs don’t offer paid vacation, many are more likely to get burned out. That’s often because they feel they can’t afford to take time off.
Others may force themselves to keep working even if they feel sick. That decision could cause a domino effect, especially if the person has a contagious illness and puts customers or colleagues at risk. If your company offers paid time off as a benefit, people get the impression that it’s okay and expected for them to take occasional breaks to stay healthy and motivated.
When discussing paid vacations in job advertisements or talking to candidates, consider mentioning how it progressively increases. For example, a person may get five days of paid leave in their first year but eight days during their second. That system encourages people to stay with the company and gives them something to anticipate in return for their hard work.
4. Life Insurance
Unpredictability is one of the few constants in life. You can help employees feel more prepared for the future by offering a life insurance benefit. Experts recommend that policy payouts should equal 7 to 10 times a person’s annual income. That means an employee’s savings alone usually fall far short of paying for the coverage they need.
Life insurance can supplement what people put aside themselves, giving them more peace of mind about the unexpected. For example, if policyholders save money too, the combined amount could help surviving family members pay mortgages or pay for other significant expenses they could not handle without that help.
When you talk to prospective employees about life insurance benefits, include the relevant details. For example, you might say that the company gives a specific amount of group-term coverage that continues for as long as the person stays with the organization. Then, clarify that people associated with your business or the insurance provider can offer more details once they start their job.
5. Career Advancement Paths
Some exceptions exist, but people generally like the idea of staying with a company long-term and gradually getting promoted as they become more knowledgeable and skilled. They also appreciate when companies specify what they must do to achieve such progress. Employees then stay motivated and are more likely to view their employers as transparent rather than secretive or prone to favoritism.
That’s why many business leaders create pathways that list the milestones for workers to achieve before promotions occur. Lots of job ads promise that positions provide opportunities for advancement. However, your company can get noticed by creating career advancement frameworks and promoting them during recruitment efforts.
For example, you might tell job candidates that there is a companywide path that all workers use to understand what goals they must meet to advance. However, you could also specify that employees set personal quarterly goals that superiors also examine when evaluating their performance.
Follow those things up by assuring people that ongoing support is available to help workers feel empowered instead of overwhelmed.
6. Flexible Hours
Some people don’t do their best work until 10 a.m. Others prefer to start work as early as possible to give themselves more downtime in the evening. Similarly, if individuals have kids, they may need work hours that accommodate their children’s school or daycare schedules.
Given these variables, it’s not surprising that a quarter of people seeking work strongly preferred flexible hours as a job benefit when surveyed. You might use phrases like, “Get work done on your schedule” or “Start your day when it suits you,” and then go into details while talking to candidates.
For example, some companies provide time ranges, such as letting workers begin at any time between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. Others stipulate that they can start to work up to three hours earlier or later than their usual time without supervisor approval but need permission beyond that.
7. Remote Work Possibilities
People also increasingly look for employers that offer remote working arrangements. The opportunity to work from home became especially desirable during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it makes sense at other times, too.
A person may live in a rural area and find that an overnight snowstorm made the roads too treacherous to get to work safely. Alternatively, a babysitter’s car trouble may mean an employee’s 7-year-old has no adult to stay with them during a school break.
Giving people the option to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they stay at home all the time. They might get their tasks done in their residences only one day per week or alternate where they work each day. Another option is to clarify that people must attend the office for certain events — such as client meetings or annual reviews — but can stay at home if they prefer in other cases.
Besides allowing people to work from home, tell candidates about any assistance your company provides to remote employees. For example, do you offer cybersecurity checklists or laptops they can use while at home or in the office? People often like the freedom that remote employment gives them, but they don’t want to feel ill-prepared for it.
8. Training Opportunities
Research shows that people like it when their employers give them opportunities to stay educated about their jobs and industries. A survey revealed that 86% of respondents considered job training personally important. Plus, 74% indicated learning things outside of work hours to improve their job performance.
The poll also showed that education is not just important for people in the early stages of their careers. Rather, 91% of middle-aged professionals found it crucial, too. Training can happen formally, such as if workers attend seminars or workshops. However, less-structured possibilities exist as well.
For example, you might tell candidates that your company has employee mentoring possibilities or that workers can usually get their costs covered when attending industry conferences. Maybe your company has a monthly program where experts speak to your workforce during their lunch hours.
Bringing up these things emphasizes that you want to give people access to the knowledge they need for ongoing self-development.
Help Your Company Stand Out
As you assess candidates for open positions, never assume people will quickly take any job offered to them. You must show job-seekers that your company is a great place to work that values its employees. Otherwise, they’ll look elsewhere for more attractive options.
Besides staying mindful of these eight perks, it’s smart to regularly ask employees what you could do better to meet their needs and appeal to them. That way, it’s more likely that those people will stick around for the long term, and you’ll simultaneously stay relevant to individuals looking for work.