As recruiters, we’re in the unique position of being able to really get under the skin of what our candidates are looking for, and how our clients can best turn those demands into reality. In 2020, our candidates continue to value soft benefits as a top priority when looking for a new role. For good reason, as a recent Vitality survey found that 35.1% of surveyed employees have reported feeling unwell as a consequence of work-related stress. This is usually the result of a poor working environment or work-life blend, both of which can be improved by wellness benefits or flexible working options.
Our recent 2020 Salary and Benefits Review, collated from a survey of over 2,000 UK employees, found that the range of ‘soft benefits’ is becoming wider. Essentially, employers are becoming more creative when putting together benefits packages.
Why is this important now?
The beginning of a new year marks a time when many more job seekers are on the market. This may be especially true in 2020, as our salary survey also found that 25% of respondents are dissatisfied in their current role, and over half are planning to leave their current position before the year is up.
If your client isn’t fully optimizing their soft benefits as part of the hiring process, they could be missing out on high-quality talent. In addition, the low unemployment rate means that it’s an increasingly competitive market and clients need to now differentiate themselves from their competitors to find fantastic staff.
Benefits that attract
Our survey found that respondents under 45 place the most importance on a great work environment when looking for a new job, whereas the younger generations also favor career development, challenging roles and a good benefits package.
There are differences in terms of genders as well, as women appear to prefer job security while men are seeking a positive work environment. The only generation that would prefer a higher salary over and above soft benefits are those over the age of 55.
Some more of our favorite soft benefits include supplied breakfast/lunch, training opportunities, unlimited paid time off, cycle-to-work scheme, personal wellbeing days and annual leave on an employee’s birthday.
As recruiters, it’s important to share this information with your clients so that they can develop benefits packages to attract the staff they want, while also holding onto their existing high-quality talent.
How to incorporate benefits into the hiring process
Once your client is happy with the benefits they are willing to offer a new starter, make sure all consultants are briefed with a summary so you can field any questions from candidates. Ask your client how they would prefer these to be advertised – should they be listed on the job advert, or should they only be disclosed to shortlisted candidates?
Additionally, it might be worth prepping the hiring manager on how best to communicate the benefits in the interview – there’s no point doing all the work, only to realize that the hiring team hasn’t communicated the different benefits on offer!