– Stevie Nicks is the Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine – a website that covers the topics many care about. One will find articles about lifestyle, travel, fashion, trends and relationships – each of which is written in their unique style.
Right now we live in a candidate’s job market.
Although it might not always feel like it, candidates hold a lot of the cards when it comes to finding the right job for them. New technologies and the development of job sites in recent years has simplified the search and helped connect talented people with willing employers.
While traditionally it was enough to have good pay, reasonable hours and a retirement gift after a few decades of service, these days employers need to pull their weight and offer this ultra-talented and well-educated workforce something more to convince them to come over to their companies.
Job benefits and perks have become just as important as any salary (often because they make up for the significant lack of wage growth experienced over the last decade). For candidates who have the privilege of choice, a benefit can be seen as the tipping point that takes them down a particular career path.
If you’re an employer concerned you’re falling behind in the job market, here are some great ideas for job benefits that the next wave of candidates will be expecting.
9 to 5 culture isn’t quite dead, but it’s definitely on its knees.
The modern lifestyles and responsibilities of adults in 2020 means employers need to be much more flexible when it comes to issues surrounding when and where their employees work.
Refusing to budge from the old-school, rigid 8-hour day structure makes your business significantly less appealing to the latest generation of talent, who are very familiar with freelance culture and attuned to the importance of a healthy work/life balance.
As an employer, you need to be open to concepts such as flexi-time and remote working. Many of us have become heavily acquainted with the concept of remote working in 2020 and the results have shown people are generally able to work to the expected standard from home as long as they’re given the space and equipment to succeed.
Offering flexi-time can make your office a much more positive environment. It not only makes you a much more attractive prospect to applicants with other requirements but gives your workers the time in the morning to get themselves fully engaged and not turn up sleepy-faced. It’s about providing them the autonomy to be a productive asset to your company, just in their own way.
Flexibility isn’t just about time either, but also space. Some people do their best work from their bedrooms, but many prefer the bustle of an office — particularly open-plan offices. Consider how enticing your actual workspace appears. Is it cramped, out-dated and somewhere that stifles creative conversation? A modern, open-plan office can greatly improve the working experience and make people feel significantly more excited about the concept of spending most of their day there.
A focus on wellness
Wellness is one of the hot-button issues that every employer needs to be aware of today.
There are a number of ways you can ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees through the extensive use of creative benefits. After all, if your team isn’t at its best there’s no way your business will be.
Mental health is a major consideration in the American workplace. In 2019, a staggering 94% of Americans reported workplace stress, often a precursor for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. While there are plenty of things you can do in the workplace to tackle this issue more comprehensively, it is often the case that benefits can help mitigate such issues at the source.
Giving your employees mental health days and funding access to private therapists is a great way to show you seriously care about their mental wellbeing and want the best for them — even at the cost of lost productivity. Alternatively, you can pay for access to popular mental health apps such as MyPossibleSelf — or take it a step further and fund creation of your own as Yulife did for its team.
There are other health concerns you should be aware of and offering benefits for too, such as physical health and anything that may be damaged on the job. Gym memberships have become an increasingly common way of enticing candidates interested in fitness, while paying for regular eye tests helps to keep office workers in the best possible physical shape to keep contributing.
However, it’s important to check any benefits you’re offering don’t clash with existing financial assistance your candidates may be receiving. This can put off some great candidates who may fear taking a role with such benefits would disqualify them from the support them currently receive.
For example, veteran employees may have their service compensation compromised by particularly generous benefits (especially if they’re in the process of acquiring them through a third party service). Consider checking with your team to see if anything you’d like to introduce may disrupt their personal life – particularly financially.
The best companies make sure they’re full of opportunities for their staff.
Not just the opportunity to work with new clients and earn promotion to better positions, but to better themselves and develop new skills through professional training.
Offering development programs doesn’t just benefit your employees, but you as an employer. By encouraging and paying for training — and highlighting this as a core aim of your business — you make the prospect of working for your business much more enticing. It can turn a hire who may only otherwise stay for a few months into a valued member of staff who gives years to the company.
If your training is role or industry-specific (with clear evidence of thought put into it) it can be a significant drawing point for every type of applicant — from graduates to experienced professionals looking for a career change. A curated series of courses paid for by the company look much better than a vague series of training sessions once a month.
People want to make themselves more desirable in the employment marketplace, and you shouldn’t be afraid to market your business as something of a stepping stone. If you have the right culture and workload you’ll retain many of these hires long term, while others will look to you as something they’ll want to give back to.
Of course, there are lots of other little perks you can offer, such as cycle to work schemes which have seen huge success in the UK or ways of avoiding public transport. As with many things when it comes to running a business, it pays to take stock of the unique situation you find yourself in (the location of your office, the size of your team) and offer benefits that further built on that (hopefully) positive working environment.
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