employee benefits battleground

According to candidate research conducted by PageGroup, 78% of Britons would be more likely to apply for a job if the advert mentioned the benefits on offer. Despite this fewer than half of job adverts (47%) were found to include any information on benefits whatsoever. In an increasingly competitive market companies need to do all they can to stand out from the competition – and benefits packages are becoming the battleground.

When considering similar positions with similar salaries, a candidate is going to look beyond the pay packet to the added extras, those things that make a company great to work for. This is where creating a compelling employee value proposition (EVP) and selling your benefits offering comes into play. In the same way that an excellent CV stands out and garners a lot of interest, a great job advert can really separate a company from its competition.

The five most wanted workplace benefits 

  • Flexible working hours (71%)
  • Work-from-home options (55%)
  • Unlimited paid holiday time (46%)
  • Company car or subsidised/free transportation (43%)
  • Weekly free lunches (41%)

The five most commonly offered workplace benefits

  • Flexible working hours (62%)
  • Higher/further education loan or paying for professional qualifications (56%)
  • Company device policies (e.g. mobile/tablet/BYOD) (52%)
  • Work-from-home options (49%)
  • Company car or subsidised/free transportation (45%)

What makes your company a great place to work? Your EVP and how benefits fit into this.

An employee value proposition (EVP) is the unique set of benefits which an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they bring to a company. Your EVP is about defining the essence of your company - how you are unique and what you stand for. It should encompass the central reasons that people are proud and motivated to work there and can be a very powerful motivator for prospective new employees.

When integrated into all aspects of a business, a strong EVP will help to retain top performers and attract the best external talent. Furthermore consistently communicating a compelling EVP through branding, public relations and marketing will also help the passive labour market form a positive perception about the value of working for your company. Creating an excellent EVP should be at the heart of any organisation’s recruitment strategy and their benefits offering will form a large part of it.

How can you boost your job adverts with your benefits package?

As previously mentioned, almost half of job adverts fail to mention benefits. Many job adverts are simply a list of requirements and demands made of the applicant and can often turn people away rather than enticing them, particularly in competitive markets where the best talent has multiple roles to choose from. Organisations need to do more to attract talent from the very first interaction they have with candidates, this being the job advert. 

As well as including a job description, the role responsibilities and a breakdown of the kind of individual that would be successful, a job advert should include information about your company, what you stand for and how you create an environment in which your employees can flourish. 

Do you offer flexible working? Operate a working from home policy? Do you pay for training or professional qualifications? Whatever it is that you do to improve the working lives and conditions for your employees can be included in a job advert to entice applications. Our research showed that over half of employers do offer each of these perks.

According to a 2017 survey by Aon Consulting, 96% of employees underestimate the amount their employer spends on their benefits – with four in 10 (42%) believing it is around 5% or less of employees’ salary when, in fact, it is typically between 20 and 40%. It is clear that while candidates place a lot of value on benefits, employers are not doing enough to leverage their offering.

There is a disconnect between both the type of benefits offered and the value these benefits hold; even among existing employees over a third (37%) did not know what their benefits package comprised. In many cases an organisation is already offering a wide array of benefits which are likely to attract candidates, the issue is that they are not communicating that clearly enough in job adverts or throughout their recruitment and on-boarding processes.

By investing time and effort into defining your EVP and placing your benefits offering at the heart of it you can ensure that you are in place to win the battle for the most in demand talent from the moment they read your job advert.

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