Finding top and qualified candidates for open positions is only half the battle. The other half is offering the types of compensation and benefits that will entice these candidates to join your organization.
But what type of compensation is the most desirable? What are the tangible and intangible benefits of your company that make it attractive to top candidates? Let’s find out.
Few professionals want to sit at the same desk in the same office for 40 hours a week. Most people prefer to at least have the option to telecommute or work remotely from home from time to time. And with today’s technology, many positions are able to provide that type of flexibility.
Candidates will want to know if these types of work arrangements are possible and if your business is able to accommodate remote workers. If this isn’t something you currently offer, be prepared to explain why you feel telecommuting is not available for the position. If possible, however, you should begin developing a plan to offer the option in the future.
This may seem obvious, but many organizations simply don’t communicate well. Candidates expect companies to communicate in a variety of ways, including:
- Throughout the hiring process: Candidates want to be informed of where they are in the hiring process and when they can expect the process to be concluded. Companies that offer timely feedback and provide clear communication will earn an applicant’s respect even if the applicant isn’t hired.
- When establishing goals for the position: Clear, attainable goals are important for candidates, as it allows them to understand exactly what is expected of them. These goals are also equally important for employers, as they help measure an employee’s success in his or her new position.
- Regularly during the work cycle: Candidates may not expect you to meet with them on a daily basis to discuss their work, but many consider it extremely important to have occasional one-on-one meetings with management to gauge progress and success, and to feel engaged in their work and with their team. These initial check-in sessions during an employee’s first year also go a long way to building employee morale, which is compelling when attracting new hires.
Most employees want to feel like the work they do is making a difference and contributing to the greater success of the organization. But many also want to work at a place that engages with their community and encourages charity and volunteerism.
To cater to these candidates, many organizations offer their employees time off to work at or attend charity events. Others organize company outings that benefit non-profit organizations. Even small gestures like organizing an annual food drive can attract philanthropic candidates. By making a positive impact in the community, you can appeal to top candidates that wish to do the same.
Similar to communication, this may seem like a no-brainer, but respect for employees comes in many shapes and sizes. Aside from respecting the individual and the work he or she does, actions you take also convey certain types of respect. For instance:
- Allowing an underperforming employee to remain on payroll communicates to higher-performing employees that quality doesn’t matter.
- Assigning busy work to employees that is unimportant or unnecessary can be seen as a sign that you don’t respect their time or talents.
- Disregarding an employee’s input or ideas is a surefire way to make them feel marginalized.
Not all compensation needs to be in the form of salary. Nowadays, businesses have to find creative ways to make their employees feel more appreciated. Some of the more unusual benefits include:
- Bring your pet to work day: This won’t be applicable to all businesses, but many offices make accommodations to allow employees to bring in pets from time to time.
- Free lunches: Offering employees a catered meal during a particularly busy time or for a job well-done is a very popular and simple perk.
- Employee discounts: Partner with companies that offer discounts for employees. You can negotiate discounts with local businesses directly or work with third-party companies such as Working Advantage or Tickets at Work.
Employees feel validated and respected when their exceptional work is publicly acknowledged. Monthly, quarterly or annual awards are a good form of recognition, as are bonuses and other incentives offered for specific achievements. Even a company-wide email highlighting an employee or a team that has achieved success can give team members a feeling of accomplishment.
It’s no secret that money talks. While salary isn’t necessarily the most important factor for a candidate deciding to take a job, it definitely ranks among the top three. Make sure your salaries are competitive in both your industry and region. If you feel your salaries are not competitive, be willing to negotiate with candidates if they come back with a counteroffer. Also, look at alternate forms of compensation. Your prospective employee might be happy with an extra week of vacation, the ability to occasionally work from home or even employee stock options.
Your desirability as an employer is comprised of many factors, but benefits and compensation are among the most important. By evaluating what candidates truly want, and by identifying the types of benefits you are willing and able to offer, you can establish yourself as an employee-friendly organization and land top talent in the process.