The Most Attractive Employee Benefits Beyond Salary

In a highly competitive talent market, you must do everything you can to lure great talent. Harvard Business Review recently conducted a study on benefits job candidates most desire. The results may surprise you! Things like free snacks, on-site gym and team bonding experiences are considered very important, but others top the list.

Here are some of the employee benefits (other than salary) that are most desirable. 

Flexible hours

Most candidates say flexible hours, more vacation time, more work-from-home options and unlimited vacation time could help give a lower-paying job an edge over a high-paying job with fewer benefits. Flexibility and work-life balance top the list of importance to a large segment of the current workforce, including Generation X and millennial parents (ages 30-55 who have children). These employee groups value flexible hours and work-life balance above salary and health insurance in a potential job because they value of balancing home-life with work-life is seen as just as important

Debt forgiveness or tuition assistance

Student loan forgiveness incentives and tuition assistance also rank high on the list of coveted benefits, with many candidates saying it would sway them toward a lower-paying job. SHRM recently reported that only 3 percent of companies currently offer student loan assistance, and 52 percent of companies provide graduate educational assistance. While education assistance can be costly, companies can take advantage of current tax breaks; offering up to $5,250 per employee per year for tuition tax-free. Seeing as this incentive is underutilized, it is worth looking into to stay ahead of the demanding marketplace.

Paid maternity/paternity leave  

European countries rank among some of the top countries in the world when it comes to maternity care. Offering fully paid maternity leave for up to 14 weeks, and paid paternity leave up to four weeks, this incentive is driving more and more family-focused employees to take lower salaried jobs over high-paying jobs. A recent survey found that more than 30 percent of all current millennial and Gen X employees want to see better maternity care packages over higher salaries. This is worth taking note of. You don’t need to wait for legislation to implement a great maternity/paternity care benefits package in your company.

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