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Employee benefits are becoming an increasingly important part of recruitment, with many high calibre candidates now basing their employment decisions on much more than just annual salary.

But, what rewards are most important to employees and what should you be including in your benefits package in order to have the very best professionals working within your company? 

Why are benefits important?

Many businesses are beginning to understand the correlation between benefits packages and the quality of their workforce, where the inclusion of strong, relevant rewards help them to get and keep the quality staff members that they need in order to drive their company forward.

For many employees, the quality of their benefits package represents how valued they are within a company. Therefore, businesses that offer well-thought-out rewards based around the wants and requirements of their employees are more likely to both recruit and retain the high calibre staff members that they need.

How do I go about building a relevant benefits package?

When building a benefits package, start by evaluating the main demographic of your work force.

Once completed, take the time to assess their needs in order to get a better understanding of what is important to your employees. For example, if the majority of your workforce has young families, look at offering help with childcare costs. Alternatively, if you have a younger demographic, think about providing training opportunities and additional annual leave.

As financial and logistical restrictions can sometimes prevent you from being able to offer certain benefits, it is important to have a frank and open discussion with employees about what they want and what you can realistically offer.

By involving your workforce in this conversation, they can recognise that you are working hard to make them feel appreciated, by channelling efforts and financial backing into making their lives more comfortable.

What do employees really want?

When asked, most employees covet benefits that help them to make their busy lives a little easier, such as free parking, working from home and flexible working hours.

Since the financial crisis, preferences regarding benefits have also changed due to stresses surrounding job security, economic uncertainty and rising inflation. Therefore, there has been a shift towards benefits that provide employees with greater financial and job security, such as:

• Pension schemes
• Monetary bonuses
• Childcare offerings

Despite all of this, employees still value a substantial annual salary above all other rewards. So, it is worth noting that benefits that take away from employees’ monthly pay may not be the most successful. If you want to ensure that you are attracting the best candidates you possibly can, make sure that your employees are receiving the very best monthly wage, with the opportunity to earn more in bonuses.

Do benefits packages attract better employees?

Whilst many employees are of course motivated by money, the most valuable employees are those who will stay loyal to your business. A comprehensive reward package can help to attract these types of professionals and build a better, stronger workforce within your business.

AUTHOR BIO: Ashleigh Harman writes for Portfolio CBR who specialise in recruiting for compensation, benefit and reward roles. With over twenty years of experience in recruiting for specialist HR roles at all levels, they can help business and candidates find their perfect fit.