A key element of a strong, growing agency is a solid team of motivated, highly skilled and ultimately happy staff members. These days, key team members are hard to find and often even harder to keep. Offering various benefits to your employees can be a great way to not only retain and motivate current staff, but also to attract new employees to join your company. A survey taken by glassdoor.com revealed that 57% of people cite employee perks/ benefits as being amongst their top considerations when interviewing for a new role. Unsurprisingly, recent research has proven that happier employees are more productive; specifically within recruitment, offering various incentives can be a great motivational tool for your consultants to be consistently reaching or even exceeding their sales targets/KPI’s. A good recruitment consultant expects to get some pretty impressive rewards for their hard work, so unless you offer them, you could lose your best consultants to another agency. Perks can also be a great way to ensure that your employees are striking a work-life/ home-life balance.
The employee benefits that seem to be the most commonplace currently are private healthcare/ dentistry plans, attractive pension schemes, season ticket loans and gym memberships. However, over the past few years, we have noticed a definite increase in quirkier, more unique benefits being offered to employees, and have listed a handful of our favourites below:
- A large software company offers six days of paid volunteer time off per year; if they use all six, the company donates £1,000.00 to the employees chosen charity. This is great way for not only the candidate to explore their philanthropic sides, but also for the company to ‘give something back’.
- It’s seemingly popular among new start up SME’s, particularly tech/ independent recruitment agencies, to have a games room/ area, featuring ping pong tables, games consoles etc… so that their employees can unwind during breaks, as well as creating a playful, friendly atmosphere amongst the team.
- A large accountancy firm pays £1,200.00 per annum towards student loan debt. Obviously this is not a perk that each hire will walk straight through the door with, but it’s certainly an incentive to work towards at this company.
- Several companies these days give their employees a day off on their birthdays, paid and exclusive of their annual leave allowance. This is a perk that requires minimal effort from the company itself, but will go a long way to making employees happy.
- Onsite masseurs/ spa facilities are a popular perk that several companies are offering, citing the positive effect of less stressed employees.
- Company cars are a popular benefit, especially within the recruitment industry. It can do the both the agency and the employee a favour if they are meeting potential clients/ candidates and arrive in some fancy wheels.
- A US based company offers their staff the chance to learn to scuba dive in an Olympic sized swimming pool as part of their incentive programme, as well as offering other on-site fitness classes.
Whilst some of the above seem a bit far-fetched, it comes as no surprise that candidates are looking, perhaps now more than ever, at what companies can offer them beyond their base salary to make their workings lives more comfortable – if a candidate is being offered two identical roles with matched salaries, any extras being offered will surely come into play within the decision making process. Financial incentives such as attractive bonus packages or commission schemes seem like the obvious ones to go for, but rolling these out across the entirety of your agency will quickly become unsustainable. That’s why it’s important to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to developing a benefits package for your employees, and the good news is that it doesn’t all have to be material goods or things that will cost the earth.
Although quirky employee incentives can seem like a great novelty to prospective candidates when joining the company, it’s unlikely that they will play a major part in actually retaining them as employees. In fact, the number one incentive/ perk/ benefit that both new and current employees are seeking from their employers is the opportunity for growth within the company. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a promotion, but could be as simple as providing in- house training sessions for your employees to learn about a different side of the business, or perhaps a contribution to external courses. This kind of thing can go a long way to making your consultants feel appreciated and in turn appreciating you as an employer for contributing to their professional development. Having a dedicated team of consultants that are rewarded for a job well done should mean that their billings are only getting stronger and more substantial; the more valuable they feel, the hungrier your consultants should be to make placements.
Reward and recognition for a job well done beyond base salary is important when it comes to retaining employees, especially for those that often go ‘the extra mile’. Making your staff feel appreciated and valued is one of the strongest retention tools at your disposal, and is ultimately a leading factor in terms of employee satisfaction.
Disclaimer: Please note that any employee benefits provided may result in an additional charge of Employers NI to the Employer and a reduction in the employees tax code equivalent to the value of the benefit received. These are calculated on a case by case basis, so please contact a TBOS member of staff prior to the provision of any staff benefits to find out more.