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Top benefits to attract the best candidates

Top benefits to attract the best candidates

As recruiters, we have direct contact on a daily basis with hundreds of people looking for new jobs. People of all ages, from all walks of life and social backgrounds and with differing degrees of experience in the workplace. Individuals with a vast range of external influences on their lifestyle and choices but with one thing in common – they are all looking for their next career move. What will attract them to accept your job offer? The job? More money? Pension? Free gym membership? “Fish Finger Fridays”? We recently carried out a survey to find out. We asked all candidates registering for work to order in preference from the following list of benefits:

  • Contributory pension scheme
  • Free/subsidised gym membership
  • Free parking
  • Death in service
  • Minimum 25 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Profit share
  • Performance based salary reviews
  • Subsided canteen

25 days holiday was clearly the most popular choice with 83% of candidates selecting it in their top 4. This was closely followed by a contributory pension scheme then free parking and performance based salary reviews getting equal votes. A subsided canteen was the least attractive benefit with only 6% of candidates listing it in their top 4. Clearly, tangible financial rewards are most important in attracting candidates.

We also asked candidates which benefit not listed above would be particularly important to them. The outstanding suggestion was flexible working hours, with just one candidate stating his number one benefit would be shower facilities and a secure bike lock up!

So should employers be looking at improving their benefits package to help them attract the best candidates? How much time and effort should be spent on crafting a benefits package? Clearly companies with premium city centre locations are unable to offer free parking, which is often standard for companies based on office parks outside town. Would subsidised travel be an alternative? Candidates are not interested in a subsidised canteen but would a free lunch once a week appeal? Should employee benefits be considered a non-returnable cost to a company or an investment? Good benefits mean more motivated and happier staff, staff feel valued by the company and staff are more likely to stay.

This is just the tip of the benefits “iceberg”! If you have any thoughts on our findings or would like some more detailed results, please feel free to drop me an email to valerie@headwayrecruitment.co.uk. You can also keep up to date by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Valerie Lewis

By Valerie Lewis

A proven recruitment expert. Worked with a range of clients across Leeds and Bradford from start-ups to multi nationals. Recognised for hiring in all office based and management roles.
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