Including benefits in your job descriptions is important to not only attract top talent in a competitive industry but also to improve the work culture within your company. Benefits can prove to be more effective to employees than a pay rise, 80% of employees would choose additional benefits or perks over a pay rise - and so a more feasible option in promoting employee satisfaction and well-being. HOWEVER, too many companies are mistaking legal requirements for genuine tangible benefits. Or they use non-specific phrases such as “fun atmosphere” or “work on exciting projects”. Don’t fall into this trap; let’s take a look at some examples of ‘bad’ benefits to avoid using and some good ones that you might want to implement to help boost your candidate attraction.
Companies often include legal requirements conceiving them as benefits or just to ‘bulk out’ their benefits package. For example, they may include income protection, holiday allowance, and workplace pension which are all legally required to be offered to employees. Including these to ‘flesh out’ your benefits package could deter prospective employees, as they see these options with every job and will be aware that they aren’t real benefits.
Filling your package with exciting and varied benefits will keep them reading. Also, writing vague phrases such as ‘a friendly team’ gives off the same reaction that it receives - a vague response, it’s not going to get anyone excited about a new role. The candidate will be confused, how is this a benefit, where are the concrete/tangible perks?
These are some examples of the advertised ‘benefits’ we came across: ‘A friendly culture that mirrors our proposition to our customers’, ‘a fast-growing organisation that defines itself as being agile and innovative’, ‘holiday’. The first two are fine to mention in the job description but they are not tangible benefits. In addition, most companies would likely tell you that they have a “friendly culture” but this is expected within any company and not something worth mentioning.
We’ve listed some examples of benefits that are valuable to candidates and will also help provide you with feasible options that are realistic to implement.
Offering flexible working is probably the most important benefit to include in a company. Particularly as most companies will be offering this - 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard. It is quickly becoming the norm, so to match your competitors, this is something that you must offer if you can. Remote working has been shown to reduce family/work tensions and therefore create a better work/life balance. It also saves the cost of travel for employees, saves the cost of office space for employers, and allows for a wider pool of candidates when hiring. There are also multiple benefits to employee attitude such as increased motivation and productivity (53% of remote workers say that it is less distracting to work at home and they get work done faster). If this is something that you cannot do, offering flexible working is still valued. For example, perhaps let your staff choose their hours surrounding the core ones.
Other lifestyle benefits that you could offer include, gym memberships/wellness schemes, helping with the repayment of student loans, and work flexibility around childcare (picking up from school, etc).
Although you may not need to go into detail about these in your job advert, listing a few examples of work incentives your company uses is worth including in your benefits. Incentives can help motivate your team but also help create a good work culture as many of our examples involve team bonding and strengthening relationships. Recognize states that offering incentives to your team has been shown to improve productivity, and company loyalty, increase engagement and encourage teamwork, and improve morale and motivation.
Offering after-work social events, not only looks attractive to a candidate but also shows that you manage a sociable/fun team without needing to spell it out. Some examples of activities could include; escape rooms, pub trips, group lunches out, free cinema trips, go-karting, charity events, after-work cooking classes, football matches, etc. Also celebrating holidays like birthdays, Christmas, and religious festivals. This is a good way to ensure everyone is included and represented.
In terms of remuneration, you may already be offering bonuses, but you could get creative with prizes if your staff achieves certain milestones. For example, shopping credit, gift vouchers, tickets to events, etc. Going further, to demonstrate how much you value your employees, you could send handwritten notes/gifts. Especially if they work remotely and you want them to feel recognised for their hard work.
Training and Development Programmes
It’s important for every employee to progress in their individual careers and often the reason employees leave their current jobs is if they’re being offered advancement elsewhere. This will be less of an issue if you offer opportunities for your employees to learn new skills, whether it’s learning new hard skills like Kubernetes or giving them an opportunity to try new tech. You could also put them on schemes that leave them with a qualification, like a certification. This could be in soft skills like leadership or hard skills. Having a training development budget for your employees to use however they like in developing their skills is one thing to include. Or you can access numerous websites offering free download certifications to share with your team.
Here are some examples:
Including benefits that will genuinely excite and intrigue a prospective candidate is vital. Think about what you would like to see in that advert. Remember, that fleshing your benefits section out with vague terms or standard legal requirements like ‘holiday’ is detrimental as it looks like you do not have anything tangible to offer. You’re not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes! Try and stick to genuine perks that will help your employees in their daily lives and maintain their job satisfaction.