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How Your Benefits Can Give You the Upper Hand on the Competition
In recruitment, the battle to secure the very best talent can be fierce. In a candidate driven industry, the best people will often be in conversations with multiple potential employers and are likely to receive a number of offers. To attract high caliber employees, it is essential to understand what motivates and inspires candidates to pick a company over another one.
On the surface, you might think that the employer with the highest offer will win out, but according to candidate research conducted by PageGroup, 3/4 of adults feel that the benefits offering is of equal importance, with 43% saying that they would prioritize better benefits over a pay rise. Employee benefits are a powerful tool in your recruitment arsenal.
According to a 2017 survey by Aon Consulting, 96% of employees underestimate the amount their employer spends on their benefits – with four in 10 (42%) believing it is around 5% or less of employees’ salary when, in fact, it is typically between 20 and 40%.
Do you know your benefits package?
Candidates frequently mention that employers and hiring managers are often not fully versed on what benefits are available to prospective employees. With benefits regularly proving the deciding factor in which offer to accept this is an oversight that could prove costly. An overwhelming 93% of people we surveyed agreed that a clear understanding of a prospective benefits package would make their decision to accept a job easier.
As a hiring manager, it is more than worth your while reading up on the benefits your company offers and ensuring that you can provide clear and concise answers to benefits-related questions. Candidates place a lot of value on these answers and if you leave them with confidence in the information you have provided, it can go a long way to convincing them that their future lies with your company.
Are you flexible?
Do you offer flexible benefits or are you even able to negotiate on benefits? Allowing room to negotiate on benefits or offering a flexible approach can put you in a very strong position – giving potential hires the opportunity to take some control over their package can be a huge motivator and can really help to position your organization as an employer of choice in your market. Less than 50% of businesses we surveyed currently offer flexible benefits so those that do are at a real advantage.
Research undertaken by Mercer found that 46% of businesses incurred no extra costs in introducing flexible benefits and 36% claim to have actually saved money in doing so.
Roughly 8 in 10 (85%) people say a flexible benefits package, tailored to their individual needs, would make a job more desirable to them. Our reasons for going to work each day vary from person to person – as some people have to work, while others simply want to. Beneath these reasons we all have personal motivations for selecting the work we do each day and the companies we choose to work for; salary, career progression, flexibility, retirement plans, private healthcare, holidays, and location to name a few. Allowing your employees the chance to define the benefits which will have the most positive impact on their lives is not only a way to attract new people but to retain existing talent.
Be prepared to discuss your salary and benefits package in interview and during negotiations
Any good interview should be a two-way process and an opportunity for both the candidate to showcase their skills and qualities, and for the employer to sell the virtues and mission of their company. As an interviewer, your role is to represent your company and to assess the candidate’s suitability for the job. Lastly, the interviewer, it is up to you to give convincing responses.
When asked about your benefits, will you be prepared to answer? Approximately 7 in 10 (71%) respondents say flexible working hours are a must for them when considering a new role. If you are asked about flexible working will you have the answers? Remember, these things can often be deal-breakers for potential employees and if you are not prepared, you to risk putting off candidates who would have that benefit elsewhere.
If you are not questioned by a candidate on your benefits offering, it is worth bringing it up yourself. Dynamic and flexible benefits that improve the working lives and conditions for your employees can be a compelling reason for candidates to choose you.
Your benefits are a powerful tool in the battle for talent, and by not fully understanding or discussing them during interviews you could be missing out on hiring excellent individuals. Prepare in advance, leverage your offering with potential employees, and realize the hidden value in employee benefits.