Rebecca Morris Clients, advice-centre, recruitment...
It will come as no great surprise that the candidate market is tougher than ever putting real pressure on employers looking to grow their teams.
We have seen a real surge in the number of vacancies across the region, yet there is a fight for talent with the candidate pool not meeting employer demand.
We know that employees are the most important asset to any business. With that in mind, now more than ever, employers need to review their employee benefits package to ensure their existing teams are rewarded and that their benefits remain competitive in the market to attract prospective employees considering their business as a potential place of work.
Benefits packages are now carrying more weight when candidates are deciding to accept a job offer, as a long-standing recruiter in this region only five years ago, benefits were not a main point of discussion, how times have changed! No doubt the pandemic followed by the cost of living crisis has meant many of us have reviewed not just our financial situation, but also what is important to us. Yes, salary remains an important factor for candidates, but we have seen a real increase in candidates looking for additional benefits including flexibility around hybrid working and enhanced healthcare packages to support mental and physical wellbeing.
As a specialist recruitment consultancy, we are spending much more time and sharing our expertise with our clients to advise on which particular benefits would help to attract and retain talent within their business.
An attractive employer will be considering the following;
Holidays – down time is top priority for us all – A generous holiday package is important helping to boost mental health as well as reducing sick leave. 20 days + bank holidays is not a benefit, it’s the statutory minimum. Organisations that give the option to buy and sell holidays according to an individual’s needs are definitely appealing to our candidates.
Healthcare packages – there are some fantastic package options out there including the Westfield Health Chamber Plan where Chamber members receive a discount off the health cash plan which includes 24-hour access to a counsellor, up to six face to face counselling sessions, a 24-hour doctor line as well as cash back for dental, optical, therapy treatments including physio, acupuncture, chiropractor etc and personal accident / death in service cover.
Employee discounts/perks – There are multiple platforms to choose from – often offering discounted cinema tickets, money off supermarket shops, discounted airport parking etc. Westfield Health again offer a rewards platform as part of the Chamber plan.
Employee reward scheme – It is so important that employees are recognised and rewarded for their hard work this could be through vouchers or team experiences, we should never forget how important praise and thanks is in terms of retention.
Flexible working – The pandemic drove remote working and promoted a better work life balance for many. Whilst we appreciate not all businesses can operate fully remotely, we would encourage employers to review their flexible working policy and allow working from home where possible, as well as flexi-time. Allowing working parents to drop off or pick up for example, even just a couple of times a week, makes a huge difference. We mustn’t forget huge swathes of society have caring responsibilities that prevent them from being able to commit to a 9-5 but this pool of talent should not be penalised or discounted.
Training – Investment in training whether internal through mentoring or external through courses/qualifications. Organisations that invest in their people not only improve the quality of the work they can deliver, but create loyalty from their employees.