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Attracting and retaining the right talent for any workplace can be challenging. With so much competition in the market, the need to create more attractive incentives for candidates, far beyond an interesting role and nice people to work with, is intensifying. This has led to the adoption of benefits aimed both at drawing in new employees and retaining good people in the workplace.
According to Australia’s number one career site, Seek, almost a quarter of Australians agree that employee benefits play a strong role in their decision making when looking for a new job. With candidates moving jobs more regularly than ever, it’s important for employers to differentiate themselves from the competition to ensure that they attract and keep the best talent in the market.
In a recent survey conducted by Seek, 2,000 Australian employees were asked about the perks that would influence their decision making, either to take a new role or stay in a current one. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the theme of balancing work and home life ranked highly for many. In fact, of the top 5 perks, three were specifically related to flexible working conditions, including choosing working hours, getting time in lieu and working from home.
Many of the candidates I speak with, especially those in more senior positions or more advanced in their careers, reiterate this sentiment of wanting more freedom around where and when they work to complement their home lives. Businesses adopting more flexible initiatives to working are promoting employee satisfaction, with big global brands like Netflix even opting to do away entirely with nine-to-five working, placing trust in the workforce to get the work done rather than setting a policy stipulating the hours it should be done within.
Companies that offer upskilling support demonstrate real investment in the long-term success of their employees. Whether it’s offering leadership training support or allowing time off during work hours to focus on professional development, the benefits for attracting and retaining talent are abundant. Besides enhancing employee loyalty (people want to work for companies that care about their development), offering these opportunities elevates companies’ reputations, making them employers of choice in a candidate driven market.
In the time I have been a recruiter (over a decade!), candidates have shared with me a range of interesting perks they have been offered: from partial student loan repayment to paid time off for volunteering; travel and wellness stipends to life coaching sessions; perks for new parents including extended paid parental leave. A whole host of these are luxuries that take into consideration the employees’ holistic wellbeing, which increasingly shows that employers understand the importance of providing opportunities that support and develop their workers both inside and outside of work.
As more and more employers start offering unique perks, setting the bar for competition, these become almost part of the expected package when looking for a move, or certainly cement decision making if choosing between very similar roles.
But none of these perks really matter without great leadership. We’ve probably all read somewhere that ‘people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses’. It’s hard to deny the role that strong, inclusive leadership models have on employee job satisfaction. More than that, the candidates I speak to about roles are always interested in finding out about the top down culture, management styles and what the leadership values are; so even before they start a role, knowing that the leadership in place can manage and motivate effectively is of huge importance.
Leaders who embody the values of their company, and filter this through their management teams, create a strong culture that is underpinned by the same set of principles. This supports in the development of stronger relationships and a feeling of inclusivity in all ranks of an organisation.
Employees join and leave businesses for several reasons, but as companies begin to build extensively on their perks in order to gain attraction, the market is becoming increasingly competitive. To ensure that businesses stay ahead of the curve, looking at offering more holistic opportunities, taking into consideration the wellbeing of the staff as a whole, as well as ensuring the structures of support in place are effective, will go a long way in making a good workplace a great place to work.
Forbes: Marketing Strategic Investments in Employee Development is Crucial for Success
Seek career advice: 7 unbelievable employee perks that really want in 2019
Seek: Staff retention – how to stop start employees shining elsewhere
Seek: What is work-life balance? Two organisations getting it right