Man, it’s tough winning over job seekers out there. Hiring managers tell us that candidates have never been pickier and competition for talent is downright daunting. The latest jobs report from the labor market confirms job seekers continue to have the upper hand. Companies are searching for ways to stand out – to become sought after ‘destination employers,’ the kind of employers for whom people clamor to work. One way to elevate a company’s employment brand is by improving benefits and perks. Here are four areas that are sure to get the attention of top talent out there.
Work schedule benefits
Companies that offer employees the ability to control their schedule to better blend work and personal life will always have a leg up in the hiring game. Our research shows that the gift of time and flexibility is a coveted benefit across generations. Our recruiters can attest that the more creative the talent, the higher the expectations of this from the employer. The power to self-determine when and where to work, along with flex time, remote work options, and summer schedules are guaranteed talent lures.
According to a recent SHRM study, the demand for all forms of parental leave is on the rise. This includes paid maternity and paternity leave. Other studies indicate that employees are also interested in family leave (to care for ailing family members or aging parents) and adoption/foster child leave. Additionally, there is growing interest in both paid sabbaticals and volunteer time off. Yet, our latest job market trend research found that while 8 in 10 employees are offered some form of maternity leave, only a third of companies offer paternity leave. Less than 20% offer volunteer time off or sabbaticals. There is an opportunity for companies who expand their benefits and perks to provide these to be seen as forward-thinking, sought-after employers.
According to our research, 7 in 10 employees are worried about their retirement plan, with 40% holding the belief that the onus for retirement prep is shared with their employer. While the majority of employees are offered some version of a 401K plan, less than a quarter have access to personal financial planning services. SHRM’s list of benefits on the rise includes alternative retirement savings plans, as well as financial wellness perks such as financial advice classes. Companies that help employees get and stay on track for retirement will reap the rewards of talent acquisition and retention.
Student loan repayment benefits
This is perhaps the hottest emerging benefit trend. If you are a recent college grad, a parent of a college student or grad, or know a college student or grad – ok, so that’s all of us – you see the struggle that many face with the loans required to achieve a college degree. With tuition fees exponentially rising, student loan debt is at nose bleed levels. Companies that address this financial burden for their employees will be among the hottest employers for whom to work. And the bonus of this benefit? It also addresses employees’ retirement worries, as the amount the company covers of the student loan repayment can potentially be redirected into the employee’s retirement savings.
In a cutthroat hiring landscape, companies need to get creative to stand out, attract and keep top talent. Offering benefits that improve quality of life through more time and stronger finances are an effective way to strengthen the pull of an employer’s hiring magnet.