Sell your benefits

Not all candidates consider a job or an organisation based solely on the salary, particularly when the money on offer is the going rate. If this is the case, putting together a competitive benefits package could help you attract a higher calibre of candidates; ones who are looking for a long-term career, rather than a job that will solely boost their immediate earnings.
Different organisations offer various benefits packages and all candidates will be attracted to different things, but here are nine suggestions of what you could include:

Private healthcare

Healthcare schemes can be an important aspect when you’re trying to sell your benefits. If you’re unable to offer full family cover, you can give the employee the option to extend their membership to their family at your business rate. You can then deduct the cost of this in instalments from their net salary.

Flexible working hours

A good work/life balance is increasingly becoming one of the most important aspects of peoples’ job searches. Offering flexi-time around a set of core hours or work from home days can boost an employee’s motivation and is a great attraction for candidates.

Extra holiday allowance

An increased annual leave entitlement is another desirable quality in a benefits package. The statutory requirement is 5.6 weeks, including bank holidays. You can increase this amount by letting employees ‘buy’ extra days, and some businesses even allow for unpaid leave in certain circumstances.

Charity days

Consider allowing every employee at least one paid day off a year to do charitable work. There are also several payroll giving schemes available, which allow individuals to give directly from their pre-tax salary to their chosen charity. In some cases, organisations match employee contributions.

Training and development

Offering learning schemes shows you’re willing to invest in an employee’s future and help them progress in your organisation. You can use external training centres or keep everything in-house, for example with a mentoring programme. If you conduct internal appraisals or offer educational sabbaticals, you should also promote these as part of your benefits package.

Travel reimbursements or loans

If your employees are required to travel during work hours, they should be reimbursed for these costs. For those who must commit a large amount of money to annual travel passes, a loan for this can be greatly appreciated. Some employees may also prefer a cash alternative to a company car, so giving them the option is often a good idea.

Childcare facilities

If you’re in the unique position to be able to offer childcare facilities to working parents, this could be an extremely popular perk. Otherwise, many employers offer childcare voucher schemes, which can alleviate the cost of employees’ childcare costs.

Perks at work

Providing free beers on a Friday afternoon or allowing every employee to take their birthday off can boost morale and increase productivity. Small gestures like these can show employees how much you appreciate them.

A choice of benefits

If you’re in the position to be able to offer all of the above benefits plus others, consider letting each employee pick and choose which they would most like as part of their package. You can offer benefits on a salary sacrifice system, meaning if the employee doesn’t choose to take part, the cash equivalent remains part of their salary.
Get a feel at interview or appraisal time for what motivates the individual, ensuring that they’re aware of the employee benefit(s) available.
When you’ve figured out how to sell your benefits, think about how to attract the best candidates.