In an era of increasing globalization and surging demand for highly skilled workers, recruiting and retaining talent can pose a formidable challenge for employers. This challenge is only amplified by the fact that the needs and expectations of today’s workforce are rapidly evolving. But what perks should you offer today’s jobseekers to ensure your company is the employer of choice in your domain?
Pay Is Just the Beginning
Today’s jobseekers, in some ways, aren’t that different from prospects of the past. They’re looking for fair compensation and a robust benefits package; ideally, one that includes generous vacation time and a 401k.
But that’s just the starting point for many of today’s candidates. In fact, these more traditional perks of good pay and great benefits may not even be top of mind for some employees. A Fast Company survey found that more than 70% of workers said that they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda.
And what that means, above all, is that today’s workers are looking to align themselves with a company that shares their values. Thus, your ideal candidates are likely not just looking to work for pay. They’re also looking to work for a purpose.
Not only do employees want to be able to take pride in the organization to which they choose to devote their time and efforts, they also want to feel that they’re more than just a number on the payroll to their employer. They want to work for a company that truly cares for their physical, emotional, and mental well-being — and is willing to prove it by offering perks that increase their happiness and satisfaction, both in the office and beyond it.
For example, allowing your employees to bring their pets to work can be a great boost to employee morale and productivity. Studies have also found that having pets in the workplace helps to reduce your employees’ stress and promote team cohesion. And this benefit can be a particularly enticing perk to promote in a recruiting ad, allowing you to stand apart from your competitors in attracting top talent!
Offering perks that truly demonstrate that your company cares about its employees’ wellbeing doesn’t end at the office door. It’s also important to offer benefits that help employees practice self-care, particularly as your workers endeavor to cope with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your employees may be working remotely at least some of the time, which can mean that they are continuing to experience the mental health challenges that accompany prolonged social isolation.
Offering your employees perks that help them cultivate their physical and mental health can be instrumental not just in attracting talent but in keeping it. And, in the process, you will be building a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce!
So, consider offering benefits that support your employees’ overall wellbeing, such as flex time and remote work opportunities for employees with young children or those who care for elderly parents. Provide fringe benefits such as free gym and spa memberships, access to mental health services, and, for your remote workers especially, opportunities for socializing safely with colleagues outside of business hours.
Investing in Employees
It’s difficult to find talent willing to invest themselves and their careers in your company if your company isn’t also willing to invest in them. This is true for traditional, hybrid, and remote employees alike. Increasingly, employees are looking for the opportunity to grow with their company, to be challenged, and to progress in their career path.
And that means providing your workforce, both co-campus and remote, with ample learning opportunities to enable them to advance their professional skills and move forward, and up, with your organization. There are many ways to do this, such as offering tuition reimbursement for courses completed or degrees earned. You might offer in-house training opportunities, as well. Or, you may provide incentives such as bonuses or promotions for any relevant professional training, certifications, or licensures your employees earn.
Your employees are the heart and soul of your organization. However, it’s not always easy to attract, let alone retain, the best talent. But understanding the needs and expectations of today’s workforce can facilitate that process. Now, more than ever, employees want to work for a company whose values align with their own, a company that truly cares about its employees’ well-being, and a company that offers employees ample opportunity to grow not only in their career but in their skills and knowledge.
Luke Smith is a guest contributor for HR Daily Advisor.