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The Importance of Employee Benefits when Hiring Staff

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When employees are contemplating applying to swap jobs what do they look for in a potential workplace? Is it the prestige of the company? The pay? A new challenge? The charisma and ambition of the boss? These will probably be key components of the decision, but there might also be other factors at play – including benefits.

A company that has no incentives to keep its employees happy should be regarded with suspicion and trepidation. Employers have been offering benefits as part of a moral obligation since the middle of the 19th Century, pioneered by companies such as Cadbury’s. The types of benefits on offer in those times are very different to those expected now, but their importance remains paramount.

According to Undercover Recruiter, nearly 72% of companies have perks, 46.7% have a casual dress code and 31.8% want to have flex time or remote work. These are fairly normal requests and expected statistics for the 21st century – less common are benefits such as Google and Apple offering to cover expenses to freeze eggs.

Holidays

All workers have a statutory right to 28 days paid holiday per annum for anyone who works five days a week. Employers have the discretion to include bank holidays in those days, or to add them on. Companies have their own rules for how holidays are taken – many would not allow more than two weeks in one spell, for example – but all recognize how important breaks from work are, and appreciate rejuvenated workers returning.

Discounts

Gym memberships, discounts at local restaurants, cinema discounts and other similar leisure boons might all be offered by your company. Anything that promotes fitness will be particularly of benefit, to a company, as healthy fit workers are less likely to be ill, which damages productivity.

As with holidays, bosses recognize that people have a life outside work, and although these perks will probably never be a deal breaker for someone deciding to accept a job or not, it’s still something to consider.

Office extras

When people say, ‘that must be a really cool place to work’ they’re probably thinking about offices such as these – the Google offices complete with rainforests and hot air balloon thought pods, and Drop Box premises which include a ‘Romance Chamber’ and ‘Break Up Room’.

Unless you work or have worked in such offices then it is difficult to know whether one gets bored or complacent about such wonders, but it’s certainly a talking point at dinner parties. Other potential attractions for the modern office include table football, air hockey, ping pong and popcorn machines – ways of breaking up the day.

Pension

You won’t work forever, and knowing you’ve got funds to fall back on post-retirement will provide comfort, particularly as you hit your 50s and 60s. It’s worth a potential employee  digging into a company’s workplace pension before they join, and a good package can only be attractive.

Insurance/healthcare

Different companies offer different insurance packages for workers, depending on many factors. Public liability is usually mandatory, while professional indemnity will be relevant for services firms, among others. Healthcare is also a particularly attractive proposition for many.

Most employees-to-be would never ask about their company’s insurance policies, but for everyone’s peace of mind it’s certainly worth HR and executives doing due diligence and getting everything and everyone covered.