Why employee recognition schemes can help you attract talented employees

The best employees build the best companies. But many business owners looking for high calibre professionals are now finding that top talent is becoming more difficult to find and win over.

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has shown that around three quarters of companies have seen an increase in unsuitable applicants to their job vacancies. It also found that over half of business owners feel that competition for talent is now greater than ever.

However, certain companies are still managing to attract the most talented employees and it’s not necessarily those offering the largest salaries.

The importance of choosing the right employee recognition and benefits schemes

Employee recognition and bonus schemes are becoming increasingly valued by employees. They are one of the top reasons professionals are choosing to join certain companies, and failing to implement such schemes could be resulting in businesses missing out on talented candidates.

A Tower Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes survey found that the attraction value of employee programs – particularly retirement and healthcare schemes – has remained strong in recent years. People are continuing to want more flexibility from their work environment, and benefits schemes allow employees to handle these complex needs.

Employers adhering to this requirement for flexibility are not only being able to recruit the top talent, but are also benefitting from:

  • Greater productivity
  • Increased retention
  • Higher retention rates

A recent Benchmark Recruit survey also found that 19% of people quit their last job as they felt under-appreciated, while another 19% left as they felt disengaged and unmotivated. Recognition and benefits schemes give businesses the opportunity to appeal to this proportion of job seekers wanting appreciative and positive workplaces. They provide a clear message that a business takes a keen interest in their employees. In particular, flexible benefits packages tailored to employees can highlight that an organisation cares while facilitating choice and control from employees.

Businesses with retirement and health care programs are some of those attracting the most high calibre candidates. As more people worry about their health, wellbeing and future, schemes including associated benefits provide potential candidates with the solutions they require. It has also been found that retirement and health care benefits mostly appeal to mid to late career employees as well as higher earners and senior-level candidates, meaning these benefits can help to attract the more skilled and experienced candidates.

Businesses looking to recruit younger talent should include employee rewards schemes as well as promotion and growth opportunities along with development and training, as these have been found to appeal to younger candidates looking to work for an organisation for the long term.

How to implement and advertise recognition and benefits schemes

Employee benefit plans can be a major time and financial investment, so it is important for companies to get it right in order to gain the maximum possible value.

When selecting the right blend of benefits, businesses need to carry out the following:

  • Basic groundwork: Core benefits, funding and administrative procedures should be agreed upon.
  • Source the right employee benefits: Potential benefits providers need to undergo a comprehensive review period, where the terms and conditions are negotiated before being agreed upon.
  • Legal and tax compliance: Employment law and HMRC tax should be addressed to ensure complete compliance, which can be done with the guidance of legal and tax professionals.
  • Final document: A document outlining the recognition and benefits scheme in detail should be put together, which covers rules, eligibility and default benefits.

Promoting the schemes both amongst existing employees and when recruiting new staff is then imperative.

A recent JLT survey found that 20% of employers with these programs leave it up to employees to find out more. Communication is crucial in order for the schemes to be as effective as possible. Job advertisements should contain a clear overview of each benefit that you offer and in interviews, an introduction to the different schemes can be valuable.

The correct introduction and implementation of employee recognition and benefits schemes can then help businesses retain any top talent that they have recruited. While the programs can seem like a large investment in time and funds at the time, the ability to have the highest calibre of professionals driving your company forward really does make them a worthy investment.

Author: Lauren Knowles is a digital content writer for Portfolio CBR, a recruitment firm specialising in matching high calibre professionals with compensation, benefits and rewards job vacancies at reputable companies across the UK.

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