Sponsored: Prospects looking beyond salary – what else you need to offer

You might have heard it on the recruiter grapevine, but if not we’ve got the scoop for you. More prospective employees than ever are looking beyond the salary package when deciding what company they’d like to commit an average of four years of their life to – more if that job fit is as perfect as can be.

Don’t get us wrong – salary’s still important (there’s only a few people out there who’d work for peanuts) – but employers need to offer more than a competitive rate and 25 days holiday if they want to attract the best.

Flexible working
This one’s a big one, and it’s hard to find an employment publication that hasn’t covered it in some way or other recently. Whether it’s giving employees the option to appear half an hour earlier or later and then leave in the evening accordingly, or it’s going all the way and letting workers cram all their work in at the beginning of the week and taking Friday off (extreme!), so long as they get their work done it should be the norm to let new prospects work in the way that’s best for them along with the rest of your staff. As long as it doesn’t impact the business.

Your prospects will most likely have rich lives of their own outside of work, and employers are recognising that more and more. You’ll see places like Virgin Management offer unlimited paid leave, with the expectation that no-one’s going to take more than they’re due. If they did, their work’s going to suffer and you’d take their performance under review anyway, so you can easily sort the high flyers from the coasters without having to look at their output with a fine-tooth comb.

Broader benefits
Not all benefits are created equal, and hew hires can smell a half-hearted attempt from a mile away. 10% off the company’s own products is only going to convince customers to try and become employees. And anyone savvy knows that it’s a way to funnel those salaries you pay back into your business. Offer that 10% to the employee’s friends and family however, and your benefits moves from a shameless cash-grab to that of sharing-and-caring employer.

The importance of having benefits that can be shared and function outside the workplace can’t be understated. Give away a benefit that your new hire wouldn’t want to use alone (like, some kind of experience or something…), and you’ve got yourself an advocate for your business instead of someone who just turns up to get their work done and forgets you as soon as the clock hits 5.

Avoid bribery
Ah, the mythical sign-on bonus. Great for new employees, but maybe less great for you. Sure, promise a hire 1,000 shiny pounds to sign on and they’ll join much faster, but unless they’re on the hook for a length of time to make you that money back, you could be readying yourself to take a hit. Similarly, while it might bring on a new hire faster, if anyone already in the company hears about it and starts thinking about how they weren’t offered the same, they may look to jump ship and you’ve made a net loss of employees.

Also, cash is boring and forgettable. We might have a vested interest, but if you can’t remember what you used your last bonus on, then we’re barking up the right tree. You want benefits that new hires will remember, so each time they use them they’ll be reminded of all the reasons they came to work for you. Be ready to sell not only the job, but the benefits that come with it. If you don’t care about the benefits you offer, why should your new hire?

Want more ideas about what you could offer your staff both old and new? You can read more over at the Virgin Incentives blog, where we’ve continued this article with some free ideas you could roll out today with no contact details required!

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