It is often easy for potential employees to believe that salary negotiation is the most essential part of the interview process. Many are unaware of how employee benefits can be as important as the pay package. However, aside from regularly not being mentioned early in the recruitment process, benefits are regularly misunderstood and, in many cases, vastly underappreciated and underused.
Todays HR know that employees are individuals with different needs and wants, so different benefits will appeal to different employees. Taking time to listen to and understand what a candidate is looking for and the types of benefits that could be important to them could be the difference. Getting an idea of what they want now and in the future may help tailor the future offering. This could mean attracting more of the talent you want in your organisation pensions may seem a way off to a 21 year old, but cycle to work scheme may be very appealing right now. Being the company that teach them the value of both will be valued by both will not be forgotten and will enhance their experience of you as an employer.
Pensions are a benefit that many employees take for granted and often don’t understand their true value. They are so important for financial security later in life, that an employee who is not taking full advantage of any work affiliated pension with a higher percentage is going to lose out in the long run. It is always worth emphasizing the value of any company pension scheme to employees and new starters, explaining the advantages of it and how they can increase their contributions to it.
Who doesn’t like to get a good deal? Including discounts on high street shopping or online is significantly increase the value an employee can get from the remuneration package wholly separate from the bare salary amount. Including offers at gyms, perhaps educational classes, will not only enhance an employee’s’ appreciation of the package on offer, they will be healthier and more motivated. I have lost count the times employees quote their discount deals and not the much more expensive benefits!
Shares schemes are also popular, but some can automatically shy away at the mention of “shares”. Having someone explain how shares work, the benefits of regular investing and being clear on the minimal risk of SAYE for example could drastically improve schemes such as this, and benefit both employees and employers. Real life case studies work well in this area.
Health benefits can come in many flavours; private health care, sick pay, maternity leave/pay, dental and even optical health. These benefits are often more difficult to quantify and immediate benefits like a weekly yoga or mindfulness or a gym discount could sway an employee much more. Could demonstrating both well win over a deliberating candidate?
Engaging with employees about benefits, especially with uncertain times ahead, could help you recruit more quality staff and aid in retaining them as well as ingratiating them to the company’s culture. Offering diverse benefits is not enough if employees are not understanding or taking advantage of them, so it’s time to get the conversation started!