What do candidates look for other than salary?

What benefits do candidates look for other than salary?

Unemployment rates are currently at less than 4%. That’s fantastic for candidates, not so good for those looking to fill vacancies with red hot talent. Companies want to hold on to their good staff, and if they sense unease, may offer financial rewards to keep their top performers in-situ.

So how on earth can you convince great people to move to you?

Well, we’d be lying if we said money was unimportant. But for the sake of this discussion, we’ll assume you are offering an interesting level of salary that is competitive with similar roles in the market. 

That alone is unlikely to cut it though. What else can your organisation offer, what other benefits are those great potential employees looking for in a new position?

In our experience, these are some of the most important things to consider.

Personal growth

Business growth is important for any organisation, but alongside it should be the personal growth of your team. When you clearly demonstrate care for the development of your employees, the result is a more engaged workforce. Of course, personal growth is….. personal. And, therefore, different for everyone. But examples might be to support the learning of new skills, allowing time off for taking outside classes, creating company support groups, assigning mentors. Remember this is about the person growing emotionally and intellectually, rather than simple training.

Aligned values

Your workplace values are the most important principles you employ to run your organisation. And increasingly, young people particularly are looking to work with companies they feel align with their own beliefs. The values of an organisation come from the top and can cover areas such as being accountable, supporting others, inclusivity, demonstrating tolerance. Positive environments are proven to improve productivity by reducing stress, minimising staff churn and maximising effectiveness.

Flexible working arrangements

With modern technology, there’s little excuse not to allow flexible working. This can cover anything from someone working from another country to a tweak in starting and finishing hours, depending on the person and their needs. It’s surprising how many organisations still worry about remote workers ‘bunking off.’ The reality is that numerous studies have shown flexible arrangements result in higher productivity, a stronger sense of loyalty and better mental health. For a while now, employment law has said you must consider any request – we’d argue it’s becoming non-negotiable if you want the top people.

Professional development

The opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills through training and coaching is a big plus when people are looking for a new position. HR Review magazine reported this year that well over half of UK workers would leave their job if their employers stopped providing training, and nearly one third have done precisely that already. The message is clear – continued professional development is important.

Excellent working relationships

Your employees generally spend more time with their co-workers than they do with their friends. So an environment where team members are respected and valued is very important. The same goes with their boss. How someone feels about their line manager directly impacts their job satisfaction – more than any other aspect. Ensure your senior people are well trained in managing teams effectively.

Fringe benefits

The above benefits are rather intangible, but there is still a place for those ‘perks’ that make life a little more comfortable. From financially-based benefits such as pensions, health insurance and share options, through to more practical things like gym memberships, or cycle to work schemes, it’s worth looking at what you can offer to create a really attractive all-round package.

Not everyone can compete with FTSE Top 100 organisations in what they offer, but most companies can look at how they treat their staff. What do you do to create a positive environment where people can grow and develop and enjoy contributing? How do you help people to reduce stress and have a life outside work too? These are the things that will help you secure – and keep – the best people

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