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How your benefits can give you the upper hand
In recruitment the battle to secure the very best talent can be fierce. In candidate driven sectors in particular the best people will often be in talks with multiple potential employers and are likely to receive a number of offers. To attract high calibre employees, it is essential to understand what motivates and inspires candidates to invest their talent in a company.
On the surface you might think that the employer with the highest offer will win out, but according to candidate research conducted by PageGroup three quarters of UK adults feel that the benefits offering is of equal importance, with 43% saying that they would gladly prioritise better benefits over a pay rise. Employee benefits are a powerful tool in your recruitment arsenal.
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%.
Do you know your benefits package?
Candidates frequently remark that employers and hiring managers are often not fully versed on what benefits are available to prospective employees. With benefits regularly proving the deciding factor in which offer to accept this is an oversight that could prove costly. Indeed an overwhelming 93% of people we surveyed agreed that a clear understanding of a prospective benefits package would make their decision to accept a job easier.
As a hiring manager it is more than worth your while swatting-up on the benefits you are offering and ensuring that when asked you can provide clear and concise answers to benefit related questions. Candidates place a lot of value on these answers and if you leave them with confidence in the information you have provided it can go a long way to convincing them that their future lies with your company.
Are you flexible?
Do you offer flexible benefits or are you even able to negotiate on benefits? Allowing room to negotiate on benefits or offering a flexible approach can put you in a very strong position – giving potential hires the opportunity to take some control over their package can be a huge motivator and can really help to position your organisation as an employer of choice in your market. Less than 50% of businesses we surveyed currently offer flexible benefits so those that do are at a real advantage.
Research undertaken by Mercer found that 46% of businesses incurred no extra costs in introducing flexible benefits and 36% claim to have actually saved money in doing so.
More than eight in ten (85%) people say a flexible benefits package, tailored to their individual needs, would make a job more desirable to them. Our reasons for going to work each day vary from person to person – some people have to work, while others simply want to. Beneath these reasons we all have personal motivations for selecting the work we do each day and the companies we choose to work for; salary, career progression, flexibility, pension schemes, private healthcare, holidays and location to name a few. Affording your employees the chance to define the benefits which will have the most positive impact on their lives is not only a way to attract new people but to retain existing talent.
Be prepared to discuss your salary and benefits package in interview and during negotiations
Any good interview should be a two way process. It is not simply for a candidate to prove their worth to you, nor should it be a grilling. It should be an opportunity for both the candidate to show their skills and qualities, and for the employer to sell the virtues of their company. As an interviewer, your role is to represent your company as well as to assess the candidate’s suitability for the job. A good candidate will have done research on the company they are interviewing with and will arrive prepared with questions. As the interviewer it is up to you to give convincing responses.
When asked about your benefits offering will you be prepared to answer? Seven in ten (71%) respondents say flexible working hours are a must for them when considering a new role, when asked about flexible working will you have the answers? Remember that these things can often be deal breakers and if you are not prepared you risk putting off candidates who have been given the answer they were looking for elsewhere.
If you are not questioned by a candidate on your benefits offering it is worth bringing it up yourself. We have covered the value that including your benefits in a job description can offer and would echo this when talking about interviews. Whatever it is that you do to improve the working lives and conditions for your employees can be a compelling reason for candidates to choose you.
Your benefits offering is a powerful tool in the battle for talent and by not fully understanding or using them to your advantage you could be missing out. Prepare in advance, leverage your offering with potential employees and realise the hidden value in employee benefits.