Attract the Best Candidates (Before Your Competition)

January 11th, 2011 | Hiring Resources | 1 Comment »

Every good candidate knows not to ask about your benefits package in the interview, but you can bet they’re wondering. You’d also be pretty accurate in guessing that as the economy slowly picks up, the best candidates are going to be shopping around. This means that it’s up to you to provide and explain your unique benefits and perks to the best candidates before your competition beats you to it and snatches them up.

The question is, however, is your benefits package going to cut it? There’s no doubt that it’s harder than ever to find professionals that are the best, most qualified fit for your open positions, and to draw them out of the woodwork, you’ll need to dangle some more exotic varieties of cheese.

The Usual

The standard benefits package for a full time employee consists of medical insurance, 401K or similar retirement plan, and two weeks of vacation. It’s a typical package, and it’s sufficed for decades, but is it still enough? One size does not fit all. Have you taken into consideration your employee’s personal healthcare needs? Or his family’s needs? Have you asked him about his vision and goals for retirement? How would he ideally like to spend his vacation time?

Additionally, have you figured out the effects of the recent healthcare reform on your benefits package? Have you thought about the fact that, based on vacation length, US employees are considered unhealthy workaholics (Europeans get about 4-6 weeks of vacation the first year of employment)? What about expanding your benefits package to include other essentials like life insurance, stock options, parental leave (for both new mothers and fathers), profit sharing and more? Sure, these are big questions, but  relevant nonetheless. Each employee has different values and goals, and when it comes to benefits, the norm may not be the best.

The Perks

Too many companies forget to mention the daily perks of working there. It’s easy to unintentionally take some benefits for granted and forget that they may be extremely attractive to your next employee. Perks range from something as simple as free coffee to something as extravagant as a company car. In the middle of these extremes, there are perks like movie nights, game rooms, volunteer opportunities, tuition reimbursement, cell phones, field trips and entertainment, free gourmet lunches, child care services, pot lucks, on-site or discounts to local fitness centers, and more.

How you run your workplace can also have its perks. Gaining in popularity are benefits like flex-time, so that your busy employees can choose their own hours, work-from-home days or telecommuting options, and innovative recognition programs, where employees receive rewards of their choice for their performance.

The Bizarre

If you really want to attract and retain talent but are worried about your flashy competition, here’s a few unique (yet real!) perks you could consider: Bonuses for using green transportation, refreshing nap times during the work day, on-site massage sessions or yoga classes, concierge services so busy employees can still get errands done, bonuses for traveling to places that will expand employee horizons, in-office bars, luxury retreats, and free scuba training for those free company diving trips. The list is endless.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, it depends upon the type of people you employ and wish to attract. What do they want? What would make them happier and more productive at work? Whether you choose to expand your existing benefits package, add some exciting perks, or simply advertise the ones you already have, putting a little more focus on the company benefits could be the difference between attracting (and keeping) the best employees and losing them to your competition.

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

One Response to “Attract the Best Candidates (Before Your Competition)”

  1. Jeremy Carlson says:

    That is great if the employer has perks like some of these, but if it is taboo to use them until after work hours, there is no point in having them. Can’t it go the other way as well, where candidates will look at why they are not paying more, instead of spending for all of these perks you will likely never use? In this economy I would think people are more worried about the salary, and not a tv, pool table, or getting a massage.

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