Employee Benefits ALL Companies Must Offer in 2017

sam brand
2017 is going to be huge year for recruiting top IT talent, so here’s a list of modern benefits that all companies should be offering – if they want to hire the very best employees.

In my time as a recruitment consultant I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of companies and helped them recruit top talent into their IT departments. This exposure to various organisations has given me a great insight into the diverse benefits companies are providing to their valued staff.

Some companies offer exceptional benefits packages and I must admit that I have been tempted to apply myself! But on the other hand, seeing employees offered the bare minimum makes me wonder if companies truly appreciate their talent.

The jobs market for software developers (my specialist area) is highly competitive. With a significant shortage of top IT talent in the UK, candidates usually have their pick of at least two or three job offers. With factors like location and salary often identical, benefits packages then become the deciding factor for many candidates.

Holidays

Sound obvious, but only offering the legal minimum of 20 days’ paid leave is laughable in today’s jobs market. Candidates know that giants like Virgin and Netflix offer unlimited holidays, and their aspirations have been raised!

I appreciate some employers use holidays as a ‘loyalty scheme’ where employees ‘earn’ an extra day for every year of their employment – but in IT, where candidates can dictate the market, it just doesn’t work that way!

I am speaking to an increasing number of candidates that put tremendous value in holidays and time they can spend with their family. If your company only offers 20 days holiday and you want to attract great talent, I would strongly suggest rethinking your leave policy.


Home-Working

Before we start, I understand that some companies and industries cannot allow home-working and that is completely understandable. However, if your business can offer this, it needs to be available. This is a benefit that can definitely set you apart from the competition.

Home-working demonstrates trust in your employees, as well as offering them a comfortable and productive working environment and an improved work-life balance. This benefit can also ‘widen the net’ in relation to the talent pool you are targeting, as quality talent may be inclined to travel further if they only have to make the journey a few times per week.

I have recently placed a software developer who would not have accepted a role without the opportunity of home-working included. If your company is in a remote location, like many of my clients, consider offering potential employees the prospect of working from home two or three days per week. Autonomy and accountability go hand-in-hand.


Flexible Working

If you cannot offer your employees home-working, then flexible working is a MUST. It’s 2017, and with the rise of cloud adoption in IT, working nine-to-five is a thing of the past.

Many developers I work with now expect a role to offer flexible working, saying “As long as I get the work done, does it matter what hours I do?” It is fairly standard now with most companies that an employee can work anywhere between 7am and 6pm providing they complete their contracted hours. This again offers the employee a much greater work-life balance and creates the opportunity to fit in other appointments without having to book time off. Environment is a key for candidates considering job offers, and archaic restrictions are a turn-off.

Bonuses

Software developers are the lifeblood of any business I recruit for. Without them, some companies couldn’t exist, or would struggle to turn a profit. Surely it’s reasonable that the employees are rewarded for their hard work?

Companies that provide a bonus scheme generally do so on the basis that the business is operating at a profit and the employee has performed to or above the level expected. This bonus is usually anything from 1-10% of the employee’s annual salary. I have seen many candidates accept job offers purely down to the fact that an extra reward is available for their hard work.