Top 8 Employee Benefits Recruits Want Most

Top 8 Employee Benefits Recruits Want Most

Recruiting is much more than a simple number’s game these days. The modern professional workforce, particularly millennials, are much more discerning about the jobs they apply for. It’s well known they want to have a stake in the businesses they work for — to have their ideas welcomed and appreciated — to be more than Employee Number 108494.

But there’s more to it than that…

Nobody wants to work a dull 9 – 5 for thirty years in a business that doesn’t respect the fact that they’re giving up at least a third of their life just to make a living. With that said, the right benefits still hold the potential to attract the most qualified and desirable for the job. You just have to know what makes the people you’re recruiting tick.

Here’s the top 8 benefits that can help sway the vote, even in some cases if you’re offering lower pay than the competition:

1. Better health coverage.

It costs on average $6,500 per employee and just over $18,000 per family to offer this benefit to employees. However, over 50% of the workforce claims to give “heavy consideration” to the benefits offered from one employer to the next. The better those benefits are, the better the employees you’re likely to attract. The good thing now is that, there are companies like WageWorks that offer businesses healthcare accounts and benefits plans for employees.

employee benefits
Image Credit: Michael Dorausch/Flickr

2. Flexible schedules.

You’ll find that a lot of recruits want the most flexible schedule they can get. This holds true for the largest segment of experienced professionals (ie., parents). In fact, health coverage barely edges this one out, as most parents say they’d take a job with lower pay and less health coverage if a job offers more work/life balance and vacation time.

3. More vacation time per year.

It should be obvious that most non-workaholics want more vacation time every year they work. Add the word “paid” to the mix and you’ve really got an edge over the competition when it comes to your recruiting game! Consider offering unlimited vacation time when possible. This isn’t a joke — employees will still be required to do all their work, but employers can save paying into the $224 billion dollar vacation rollover pool for unused vacation time, and employees will be happier and less burnt out to boot.

4. Remote work option.

A whopping 80% of the workforce says they would give moderate to heavy consideration to a job offer that included a work from home option. This benefit is just as big for the employer as it is for the employee, as remote employment cost them nothing to offer, and saves big time on overhead expenses.

5. Education assistance.

Nearly half the workforce out there says they would consider a lower paying job if it offered significant assistance helping them with student loan and tuition costs. Did you know you can offer U.S. employees up to $5,250 in tuition costs to your employees, tax free, every year? Still think it’s too costly?

employee benefits
Image Credit: Gettysburg College/Flickr

6. Paid maternity/paternity leave.

A huge segment of the workforce would like paid paternal leave as a job perk. Nearly a quarter of all females and 15% of men said this perk could easily sway them, even if the pay isn’t as good as other job offers.

7. Free fitness memberships and services.

Women love free fitness and yoga classes. Men want onsite gyms and/or free local gym memberships. This is a win-win for employers and employees. Especially if the nature of the work is sedentary (ie., lost sick days, back problems, and other maladies from sitting/standing in one place while working).

8. Free daycare services.

It goes without saying that parents of both sexes would jump at the chance for free daycare, whether onsite or off. Full-time daycare in the U.S. costs $10,000 a year on average per infant and toddler and over $13,000 per preschooler! Small businesses and large corporations can demand significant discounts when outsourcing this service, or simply hire a full-time daycare staff to work onsite if financially feasible.


Are there any on the list above you wouldn’t offer employees? If so, why not?


What’s your most desired perk?

Main Image Credit: Fort George G. Meade/Flickr

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