Employer Branding

Company Perks: Employer Vs Employee – Who Wants What?

Many people think they know what’s best for you – from your parents to your teachers and you – the boss. And while companies may mean well in offering the kinds of perks and benefits they think their employees will love, that may not be the case.

Now if we left it to employees to have free reign to choose which perks they can have from an unlimited list, it might give your company the popular vote amongst your staff but it might not be right for your business.

But the good news, according to new research by Perkbox and Talentpool, they found that when it comes to perks, employers and employees are to a great extent on the same wavelength.

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox says:

“It’s promising to see employees and employers on the same wavelength for a significant number of perks. However, it is also clear that there is more work to be done. With the key to a successful perks and benefits programme being communicating and asking your employees what they would really value in the workplace, these results are very interesting and relevant to employers everywhere. After all, it’s a waste of both time and resources to provide perks that won’t be utilised or appreciated by your staff.”

The top four perks according to employees were all linked to social events – with extracurricular clubs ranking first (eg. arts and crafts, book clubs) followed by pool table, ping pong table and office sports teams (e.g. football and netball).

For employers, on the other hand, social events like the above were the fourth most listed perk in the job descriptions studied.

Similarly, flexible working ranked in a comparable position in both employer job specs and employee preferences. It ranked 11th in the list of perks that employees want, while for employers, it appeared 8th as the most listed benefit in job descriptions.

However, this consistency in employer-employee preferences wasn’t visible throughout the entire findings. When it came to private healthcare, it was a completely different story.

Private healthcare was highly promoted by employers whose jobs specs were analyzed, but it only ranked 15th in the list of top employee preferences. Similarly, Friday drinks only came in 38th place for employees but were advertised in 958 (41%) of the job descriptions studied.

Finally, free tea and coffee, a simple perk for employers to provide – which would help explain why it was mentioned in such a huge portion of the job descriptions analyzed (47%) – was a perk appreciated by 84% of the employees surveyed.

Surprisingly, the more ‘millennial-driven perks’ such as yoga and nap pods ranked nearer to the bottom of the list for both employees and employers in this research.

Tom Davenport, Managing Director at TalentPool says:  

“Companies today are working harder than ever before to stand out from the crowd by offering their employees the incentives that they think they want. However, what this research reveals is that they’re not quite hitting the mark yet. Employers need to be listening to what their prospective and current employees actually want. For millennials, in particular, the perks a company offers can determine whether or not they apply for their job, so it’s key for employers to be getting this right.”


(Perkbox Data)


(TalentPool Data)

1. Extracurricular clubs 1. Free Tea & Coffee
2. Pool table 2. Training
3. Ping pong table 3. Private Healthcare
4. Office sports team 4. Social Events
5. Video games 5. Bonus
6. Birth-o-holiday 6. Free/ Subsided gym membership
7. Discounts on holidays, flights and hotels 7. Team Lunch
8. Discounts at supermarkets 8. Flexible Working
9. Free coffee and hot drinks 9. Friday Drinks
10. Discounts on restaurants and takeaways 10. Cycle to Work Scheme


By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.