HR · 30 January 2017

Ten workplace benefits your future employees will demand

Workplace benefits
Freelancer workers are often hit hardest by regulatory change

Small business owners could be damaging their recruitment strategy by not offering perks to potential employees, as new research reveals how important workplace benefits are to UK professionals.

Research undertaken by jobsite CV Library found that almost two-thirds of workers considered workplace benefits as important when deciding to accept a job offer. Over one in ten survey respondents even claimed that they would turn a job down if the desired perks were not on offer.

In 2016, a study by online platform Pure Benefits revealed that over half of micro business owners were not actively promoting any workplace benefits to staff, naming time and budget restrictions as the main reasons.

Fortunately for the owners of the UK’s smaller firms, the preferred perks uncovered by CV Library required little administrative effort.

Almost half of survey respondents cited flexible working as the most important benefit, with almost four in ten requesting seasonable bonuses and extra holiday.

The top ten workplace benefits prospective workers look for

  1. Flexible working (47.2 per cent)
  2. Seasonal bonuses (39.1 per cent)
  3. Extra holiday (37.3 per cent)
  4. Staff discounts (22.6 per cent)
  5. Paid time off on your birthday (21.3 per cent)
  6. Casual dress code (19.8 per cent)
  7. Free fitness facilities or classes (18 per cent)
  8. Free office snacks and drinks (18 per cent)
  9. Parties and social activities (8 per cent)
  10. Nap or games room (5.2 per cent)

Commenting on the research, CV Library founder Lee Biggins said that the findings indicated a shift in the expectations of modern professionals.

“It’s interesting to see that today’s workers are shying away from the more whimsical perks that had become somewhat of a fad in recent years. ‘Nap pods’ and ‘office bars’ may be popular in some offices, but the majority of professionals are now steering towards the more practical benefits like flexible working and bonuses,” he said in a statement.

However, the research suggested that for existing employees within a company, the introduction of further workplace benefits would not be a substitute for an increase in salary.

Some 85 per cent of survey respondents said that while workplace benefits were important to job satisfaction, they would rather receive a pay rise over further perks at work.

Biggins advised employers to adopt workplace benefits into recruitment strategies.

“While it’s important that businesses are offering workplace perks, these should not be used as a substitute for fair salaries. January was a busy month for recruitment with many candidates looking for a new job for the New Year.

“This is expected to continue well into the next month, meaning employers should take these findings around workplace perks into consideration when looking to attract talented new recruits to their business,” he concluded.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.