When you’re looking for a new job the first priority is finding a job that offers you the type of work you want to do, a good salary, the level of responsibility you’re ready for and that the employer looks like a company you’ll enjoy working for.
Then there’s the benefits package.
In today’s world you’re legally entitled to so many days holiday and a pension; but there’s much more to it than that.
There are surveys about what people want from work, but they tend to be blanket reviews of the workforce in general. We’ve noticed that the benefits people want vary enormously.
- People in their 20s are often more interested in gym membership than pensions.
- When the employees have young families, crèche facilities and holidays can be important.
- A nice bonus is useful for those who have growing families and want to look at upsizing their home.
- Some people prefer a car allowance to a company car, simply so that they can get a better model, even if it’s not new.
- As they pass 50 pensions become higher focus – and companies that offer more than just the minimum required get more attention.
The interesting thing is that many of our applicants see training as a benefit too. Whilst this may seem to be a given as part of keeping staff up-to-date with the latest technology and systems, in reality not every company has the budget for accredited training – and there’s a big difference between low level training and fully accredited courses.
All the big technology companies, like Microsoft and Cisco, have accredited training – but it’s not cheap. Smaller organisations don’t always have a big enough training budget to keep their staff up-to-date with all the latest advances – so those that make the investment do have an edge.
If it’s a choice between offering attractive benefits like gym membership, car allowances, loans for season tickets and crèche places – or investing in certified training, some companies feel that the benefits package is a bigger magnet. However, most employees are looking to keep their skills up-to-date and, if they don’t get certificated training, will move on before they’re so far behind that they’ll struggle to get another job. It costs the employer less to keep good staff than to search for and employ new people.
As people move into management, accredited training is less important as they’re more interested in developing their people skills. But, as an employer, how do you win at the benefits game?
There really isn’t a single ‘right’ answer – but surveying your current staff isn’t a bad place to start. Just be aware that there are tax implications to many of the benefits you might offer – and it’s wise to advise your employees to consult a tax expert before making a decision; the tax side of benefits is really complex.
Be creative, be flexible – and remember that helping people to keep their skills current is as good as a gym membership for keeping good people.
If you’d like to discuss benefits packages with us we’d be happy to give you some guidance. Give us a call on 020 3762 2020.