What benefits are job candidates really seeking?

Attracting candidates was once all about the salary - if you could offer the best candidate more than the other companies they were considering, they were likely to choose your organisation. But as the way we work changes, employee expectations are too, which means candidates today want to know what they can expect to receive in addition to their salary.

What benefits are job candidates really seeking? Feature

So, what benefits should you be providing to ensure you attract the top talent? Some employers are offering increasingly quirky benefits; MillerCoors has an on-site pub that employees can drink at for free, for example, while Google provides its employees with free food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Compared to perks like these, your organisation’s benefits package might seem lacking.

But before you start sourcing costs for catering for your entire workforce, it’s worth stopping to consider which incentives your employees - and potential candidates - will value the most.

Which perks do candidates actually want?

When it comes to benefits, a recent survey by Aviva[1] revealed that traditional benefits still have a significant influence over whether or not a candidate accepts your job offer. Of the 2,000 employees they surveyed, 44% said that annual leave is the benefit they are most interested in, while 41% looked for an organisation that could provide a good pension scheme. Other top benefits identified included paid sick leave and critical illness cover along with bonuses and a training budget.

Some of the key benefits candidates are looking for may be in response to the shift we’ve made to an ‘always on’ work culture, where employees are increasingly expected to be available at all hours of the day. Over 40% of those surveyed said they chose a job based on work/life balance, and 39% said that flexible working (including the ability to work from home) was a key perk for them. A ‘wellness budget’, which gives employees a set budget to use on things like a gym membership or mindfulness classes, was the most-requested perk by far. The fact that candidates value benefits like these so highly indicates that many are looking for an employer that will help them to protect their free time and their mental health in our ‘always on’ culture.

Perhaps surprisingly, the trendy new benefits that have been emerging within some organisations don’t seem to be as appealing to employees. 1 in 4 employees aren’t interested in work social events at all, for example, while just 5% of employees want dogs in the office.

Boost your benefits to bring in talent

If you’re still relying solely on salary to attract new talent to your organisation, you could be missing out on some brilliant candidates - so here are our top tips to ensure your offering stands out from the crowd: 

1. Talk to your employees

You’ve already got some excellent people on board, so ask them which of your benefits they value the most to find out what you’re doing well. You could also ask them what benefits they’d like (within reason!) that they don’t already have - if you can, it might be worth introducing some of their suggestions to optimise your benefits package.

2. Shout about your benefits

If you’ve got a lot to offer potential employees, then you should be promoting the benefits of working for your business! Make sure all the details of your benefits package are included in each and every one of your job ads, and share pictures of your employees enjoying the perks of the job on your social media accounts to show candidates what they could gain by joining the team.

3. First impressions count

With so many candidates looking for a job that provides good work/life balance and flexibility, your recruitment process should be designed to demonstrate that your organisation can deliver these benefits. Simply being flexible with interview times and giving them a portal they can use to send over documents whenever it’s convenient for them can give your candidates a really positive first impression.

Reach ATS makes it easy to show candidates the benefits of working for your business. From helping you to shout about your benefits in your job ads to providing you with a portal you can customise to reflect your company’s culture, our team are here to help you secure the best talent. To find out more, call us on 01527 574408 or email [email protected].


[1] https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/workplace-benefits-employees-expect/66250/

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