Benefits and Compensation

Job Offer: Benefits Packages Can Be a Stronger Incentive than Salary

In the war for talent, only the employer with the strongest benefits offerings will survive. Does your company have what it takes to attract great talent based on your current benefits packages?


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According to Randstad US, almost all employees (94%) want their employers to ensure the benefits offered have a meaningful impact on their quality of life, like paying off student loan debt and offering more flexible work arrangements.
However, before you attempt to overhaul you benefits package, you should perhaps focus on better education and communication about your existing benefits. Just under half (48%) of employees report knowing all the perks their employers offer, and only 40% say their employers help them understand the benefits that are available. Which indicates that not all your workers may be aware of what you’re offering.

Benefits Packages are a Make-or-Break Aspect of a Job Offer

Benefits can be an even stronger incentive than salary when considering a job offer, and an unattractive benefits package may drive candidates away.  According to Randstad US research:

  • Sixty-six percent of workers agree that a strong benefits and perks package is the largest determining factor when considering job offers, and 61% would be willing to accept a lower salary if a company offered a great benefits package.
  • Forty-two percent of employees say they are considering leaving their current jobs because their benefits packages are inadequate.
  • Fifty-five percent have left jobs in the past because they found better benefits or perks elsewhere.

Both Benefits and Perks Matter

When evaluating benefits, quality health insurance reigns supreme. But when it comes to perks, the survey findings indicate that workers want to maximize their time spent at work and appreciate conveniences that help them get the most out of their days.

  • When considering a potential employers’ benefits (defined in the study as “standard forms of compensation paid by employers to employees over and above salary”), workers prioritize health insurance (75%), followed by retirement funds and/or pensions (21%).
  • Highly rated perks (defined in the study as “workplace-related extras”), that workers want to see more of in the workplace are:
    • Early Friday releases (33%),
    • Flexibility and remote working (26%),
    • Onsite lifestyle amenities, like gyms and dry cleaning (23%),
    • Unlimited vacation time (22%),
    • In-office meal options, like communal snacks or food courts (18%), and
    • Onsite childcare (15%).

One Size Does Not Fit All

Age, income level, and gender all play a role in the benefits that employees prioritize:

  • Forty-one percent of respondents aged 18- to 24-years-old said their current employers do not offer student loan repayment benefits, but wish they did.
  • Workers aged 50+ named health insurance as the top benefit they wish their employers offered.
  • Nearly a third (28%) of respondents who earn more than $150,000 annually say bonuses are one of the most important perks when considering new employment.
  • More women than men want better parental leave policies (women: 22% vs. men: 14%) and onsite childcare (women: 15% vs. men: 6%).
  • More men than women would like to see their employers offer life insurance (women: 15% vs. men: 23%).

While it may not be possible to offer every benefit or perk, there are plenty of low-cost ways for you to accommodate or enhance your workers’ lifestyles. In order to do this, Randstad US suggests having leaders find out what would be appreciated within their own organization by asking current employees what they want. To be successful, Randstad US says, the employer must be prepared to follow through on—or at least address—all of the feedback.
Once you’ve addressed your employees wants and needs, you’ll be on a much better path to win the war for talent.

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