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Why you should offer a competitive benefits package?

By Emma Tee on

Salary usually takes the top place on a candidate’s wish list, as unfortunately, Natwest don’t accept free parking and access to a wellbeing programme as a mortgage payment. But, always coming in close second is a competitive benefits package. 

Since the world came to a grinding halt because a rogue bat had a bad day in 2019, candidates have placed more importance on employee benefits and work-life balance. It transformed the job landscape and demonstrated what was possible when people cut their commute and decided to invest more time into themselves. It’s why we’re asked “What does the employee benefits package look like?”, day in and day out.

And let us tell you, having a competitive employee benefits package in place, has sway! 

It’s not just us that think it either! According to MetLife, 66% of job seekers say that a competitive benefits package is a ‘must-have’ when choosing which company to work for. But what about the people already putting in the graft with your business? MetLife has found that 70% of employees who are satisfied with their benefits package are 70% more likely to stay put! 

Significant stats in a strange marketplace. 

What are candidates looking for?

Every candidate is looking for something different, which is why it’s so hard to build a competitive employee benefits package that fits everyone and why we can’t give a definitive answer. 

But what we do know is that candidates want more than just the run-of-the-mill. Don’t brag about 20 days holiday and access to a pension scheme – they’re legal requirements, not benefits. Think outside the box and what’s already in place that you might not realise is a benefit – free or onsite parking is usually forgotten, as is access to free Tetley tea bags and an endless pack of Custard Creams!

Not only will a competitive employee benefits package show that you value your employees and care for their wellbeing, but it has been proven to increase job satisfaction and productivity, reduce staff turnover, and attract fresh talent! Why wouldn’t it be something you’d consider?

Most Sought-After Employee Benefits

It’s a competitive market out there, so whilst we can’t give you an exact list of what every candidate wants to see in a package, we do know what is being offered by other businesses and the common benefits that are most sought after. 

  • Coming in first place? Flexible Working

Candidates want flexible working options, and with new legislation being introduced in April 2024, it’s going to be an unavoidable topic soon enough! If you’ve tried to haul everyone back to the office 5 days per week, you’ll know the difficulty that comes with it. Since the pandemic, demand for hybrid, remote, or flexible opportunities has soared, so offering hybrid work options or flexible work hours will put you at the top of a candidate’s list. If you don’t, candidates are likely to dip as it’s a benefit being offered by most employers within the creative sphere. 

  • Second Up? Career Progression and Development

The majority of candidates place real value on career progression and development. Learning doesn’t end once your GCSEs are over and done with. Candidates want to continue soaking up all the knowledge they can, they want to continue expanding on their existing skillset, they want to gain industry-related qualifications, and they want a dedicated career path they can work towards. If you can provide this, shout it from the rooftops! 

  • Third Place Goes to A Good Holiday Package

20 days isn’t going to cut it, pure and simple. You’ll have seen businesses that offer unlimited holidays, but for most, this isn’t viable so we would advise that you offer at least 25 days, as it’s common practice nowadays. The most successful businesses also offer Christmas shutdowns, birthdays off, and even the option to buy and sell holidays. If that’s an option for you – do it! You won’t regret it and you’ll get more from a well-rested team, 

  • In Fourth Place Is Health and Wellbeing Packages

Listen to the news and you’ll know the state of our beloved NHS. It’s a sad state of affairs when Doctors strike and people decide to pull out their teeth because of the lack of Dentists. With this in mind, you can probably understand why this comes in fourth and why it’s a big draw. Enhanced sick pay, employee assistance programmes, access to private healthcare, eye care vouchers, and death in service are all big benefits that many wouldn’t want to walk away from. 

  • Last But Not Least Is Culture

Ok, so culture is perhaps not considered a benefit, but it’s a massive consideration for candidates. First, you need to have the right people in the right places, then you can implement the smaller things that make the day-to-day better. Things such as regular socials, celebrations, free snacks and fruit, break-out areas, and an office space that people enjoy being in and want to be in. We often see pool tables and ping pong tables splashed across LinkedIn, and whilst this isn’t the answer, if you have the first four tangible benefits that we mentioned in place, these things still make a difference. 

When it comes to benefits there isn’t a solution that’s going to tick every person’s box, but you do want to know what’s competitive and meet industry standards. Ultimately, you’ll be in a better position by offering a competitive benefits package.

If you’d like to find out more about benefits, and what we’re seeing give us a bell! 🔔