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Prospects looking beyond salary – what else you need to offer

You might have heard it on the recruiter grapevine, but if not we’ve got the scoop for you. More prospective employees than ever are looking beyond the salary package when deciding what company they’d like to commit an average of four years of their life to – more if that job fit is as perfect as can be.

Don’t get us wrong – salary’s still important (there’s only a few people out there who’d work for peanuts) – but employers need to offer more than a competitive rate and 25 days holiday if they want to attract the best.

P.S. Sorry in advance for all of the exercise pictures – clearly we were in a zen mood while writing this!

Flexible working

Like this, but not this

This one’s a big one, and it’s hard to find an employment publication that hasn’t covered it in some way or other recently. Whether it’s giving employees the option to appear half an hour earlier or later and then leave in the evening accordingly, or it’s going all the way and letting workers cram all their work in at the beginning of the week and taking Friday off (extreme!), so long as they get their work done it should be the norm to let new prospects work in the way that’s best for them along with the rest of your staff. As long as it doesn’t impact the business.

Your prospects will most likely have rich lives of their own outside of work, and employers are recognising that more and more. You’ll see places like Virgin Management offer unlimited paid leave, with the expectation that no-one’s going to take more than they’re due. If they did, their work’s going to suffer and you’d take their performance under review anyway, so you can easily sort the high flyers from the coasters without having to look at their output with a fine-tooth comb.

Broader benefits

Your benefits must be thiiiis big

Not all benefits are created equal, and hew hires can smell a half-hearted attempt from a mile away. 10% off the company’s own products is only going to convince customers to try and become employees. And anyone savvy knows that it’s a way to funnel those salaries you pay back into your business. Offer that 10% to the employee’s friends and family however, and your benefits moves from a shameless cash-grab to that a sharing-and-caring employer.

The importance of having benefits that can be shared and function outside the workplace can’t be understated. Give away a benefit that your new hire wouldn’t want to use alone (like, some kind of experience or something…), and you’ve got yourself an advocate for your business instead of someone who just turns up to get their work done and forgets you as soon as the clock hits 5.

Avoid bribery

“So, what’ll it take to get you to work here?”

Ah, the mythical sign-on bonus. Great for new employees, but maybe less great for you. Sure, promise a hire 1,000 shiny pounds to sign on and they’ll join much faster, but unless they’re on the hook for a length of time to make you that money back, you could be readying yourself to take a hit. Similarly, while it might bring on a new hire faster, if anyone already in the company hears about it and starts thinking about how they weren’t offered the same, they may look to jump ship and you’ve made a net loss of employees.

Also, cash is boring and forgettable. We might have a vested interest, but if you can’t remember what you used your last bonus on, then we’re barking up the right tree. You want benefits that new hires will remember, so each time they use them they’ll be reminded of all the reasons they came to work for you. Be ready to sell not only the job, but the benefits that come with it. If you don’t care about the benefits you offer, why should your new hire?


Though we might suggest springing for more than one beer bottle, unlike these guys

Not only does it help improve morale and team-building if it’s a group activity, but little extras in the work place – that aren’t work related – can go a surprisingly long way to entice a new hire (or convince them one of your opportunities is worth pursuing). Even something as simple as drinks after work on a Friday, which you’d be unlikely to put on paper on the benefits package, could get a prospect thinking ‘this is the place for me’.

Clubs based around extant benefits would also be a good way to increase pick-up on the schemes you’ve rolled out already for employees new and old. Have a Bike to Work scheme in place? Arrange a cycle club for those that want to get a bit active. Have a workplace gym or links to a nearby gym chain? Try and book free classes for members and newbies to try out!

Mental Wellbeing

Decking optional

Wellbeing, mindfulness, healthy balance – care for oneself is rising in popularity in the working world. Meditation sessions might be a bit much unless you’ve a few yogis amongst your staff already, but a little bit of ‘look after yourself’ can create a culture that any prospect would love to be a part of. You can also do it for free, as all you need is for your employees to think about themselves every now and then.

Check out Mental Health First Aid [MHFA] England’s free resources if you want to get started straightaway, or try pushing staff towards apps like Thrive and Headspace to get those positive vibes in their hands. It’s not a tangible benefit to draw new employees in, but should they speak to one of their potential future colleagues and they talk up the company’s positivity, you’re a step closer to convincing your newbie to join.

Discounted health

Imagine these ribbons are your sales goals. Now, streeeetch”

This one’s free if you set your mind to it, as what it does is line you up to be an affinity marketer for a local healthiness provider. Get 20% off sign-ups at your local gym and you won’t have to spend anything, as the gym makes money regardless…just 20% less than they would have done had those employees signed up at full price. Which they wouldn’t have done, as they’ve had years to do so already. If your new hire’s a fitness nut, likely as not they’ve already scoped out the local exercise haunts and will be one step closer to applying if they see their lifestyle could benefit from the job too. Expand your horizons out of the office to really make your hiring package shine!

This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it’s given you a few useful tips towards enticing new members of staff to your company. You may well feel like your business is an awesome place to work, but sometimes you need to add a little oomph to convince prospective hires of the same. Want to develop your business’s employee benefits even further? Contact us to find out more!

Header image byAndrew Ly

Other Images by:

Giovanna Gomes

Jared Rice

Geert Pieters

Erik Brolin

Erik Odiin

Sharon McCutcheon

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