What do candidates do when they have two identical job offers? Are the perks and benefits offered considered a deciding factor?

A survey by Glassdoor (2017) revealed that although money does play an important aspect, 57% of employees have admitted that perks and benefits are amongst their top considerations before accepting a new job. This makes sense seeing as we spend most of our time at work, so a motivating and fun work environment will create an atmosphere which will make employees want to be there.

So, first of all, let’s start by defining perks and benefits although most of the time these are used interchangeably. Employee benefits are a form of non-wage compensation that supplements salary and are considered to be what people need. Corporate perks are offered as above-and-beyond offerings and are a nice-to-have addition to the overall salary and benefits package, whilst making the environment more inviting for employees.

Which perks and benefits are the most popular?

A good benefits package indicates that companies care about their employees. Research has indeed shown (2013 Aflac WorkForces report) that work engagement and satisfaction does increase with better benefits. Keeping in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution due to individual wants, needs, and demands depending on where the candidate is from a life perspective, the below are the most popular and are usually what employees are most interested in.

The most popular benefits include:

  • Healthcare
  • Life insurance
  • On-site or paid childcare
  • Professional Development and/or tuition reimbursement - help support an employee’s continuing education
  • Extended paid parental leave - over and above what is according to the law
  • Retirement plans - allowing employees to deduct a portion of their pre-tax salary and put it into a fund for their retirement
  • Performance based bonuses
  • Profit sharing schemes (provided to a certain level of employees or after a number of years of service)
  • Relocation expenses

The most popular perks include:

  • Flexi-time and/or remote work and/or work-life balance - for example half day Fridays and flexible working hours
  • Free food and drinks/lounge areas - for example, providing fresh fruit, snacks, or lunches and beer fridays
  • Wellness Programmes such as gym memberships and on-site exercise classes
  • Casual dress code
  • Transportation and/or parking reimbursement
  • Company car
  • Employee discounts - for example, at restaurants, gyms, shops, travel etc

What about other unusual perks which are being offered to employees?

There are also some enticing perks and benefits which are not very common as yet but are currently being offered by some giants such as Netflix, Google, and Facebook. These include;

  • Leave sharing for new parents
  • Paid time off to volunteer
  • Games rooms
  • Standup desks
  • Donation matching programme
  • All expenses paid company holidays
  • Offering a day off on the birthday of the employee
  • Gender reassignment surgery
  • Paid sabbaticals - for example; a one month sabbatical for every 5 years of employment
  • On-site car washes
  • Dog/pet friendly offices
  • Paid “puppy leave” to help puppies settle into their new homes
  • Employee coffee card - employees can use this card to have a coffee out of the office, with the only requirement being that they need to go with another colleague for employees to get to know each other outside of the office

Undoubtedly, from all the above that we have mentioned, having a work-life balance and flexible working schedule is a top priority for employees. By combining employee perks and benefits and thinking outside the box in deciding which perks and benefits are offered to employees, top talent can be attracted and retained and although this will not necessarily attract all the candidates, it will surely attract the right candidates for the culture of the workplace, whilst retaining the ones already on board. The best perks are those which do not only benefit the employee, but also the employer. Perks which are not just freebies, but investment in the workforce. In other words; perks which make good employees better!

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