Free food, flexi-time and fitness aids have been named among the best job perks by a recruitment expert.
Anita Tweats, CEO of financial services matchmaker The Finance People, has revealed ten of the most sought-after job benefits for attracting high quality office staff.
A casual dress code and a games room have also made the leading businesswoman’s list, on top of an attractive salary, holiday allowance and professional development.
Her own company has won praise for its unique service, matching experienced finance professionals with start-ups and other small companies who require financial expertise.
Anita Tweats said : “Many businesses often think that the headline wage is all that matters to potential employees.
“But my experience has taught me that sometimes the little things can make all the difference, so an appealing perks package could be crucial when recruiting.”
Here is a list of the ten best job perks:
1. Free food
Filling employees’ stomachs for free is one of the easiest ways to their hearts, whether it’s a complimentary breakfast club, laying on sandwiches for lunch or installing a snack station.
Anita said: “Providing food for your staff is a straightforward and low-cost way to show you’re a company that cares – even if you want to keep it informal, it’s cheap and easy to order pizzas once a week, for example.”
2. Health Insurance
For companies with a larger budget, a private health care plan for each employee could show a reassuring long-term commitment to your staff.
Anita said: “Personal wellbeing is a top priority for most people, so companies that want to take care of your physical and mental health are immediately more attractive.”
Around core daytime hours, allowing staff to start and finish an hour or two earlier or later could provide the flexibility they need to maintain other commitments.
Anita said: “Potential employees might not want to drop everything for a new job and will appreciate a firm that helps them keep up a healthy work-life balance. Some people are also early risers or just not fans of the morning and would be grateful for flexible hours.”
4. Casual Dress Code
Some businesses will chose to ditch suits and uniforms and replace them with a more relaxed approach that allows employees to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in, as long as it’s not inappropriate.
Anita said: “This obviously isn’t the right approach for every company, but depending on your sector and business model, allowing a hoody in the winter and shorts in the summer shouldn’t do any harm and could create a more welcoming environment for prospective employees.”
5. Special Fridays
An increasing number of companies are choosing to close early on a Friday or socialise as a team to start the weekend.
Anita said: “With most businesses winding down for the week on a Friday anyway, it’s usually a popular move to treat everyone to an earlier finish or a round of drinks after work!”
6. Local discounts
Larger businesses can use their contacts and bulk buying possibilities to enter partnerships with other local companies to offer staff discounts, but even small and medium sized enterprises could join forces with local food outlets, retailers and service providers to offer staff money off.
Anita said: “If there’s a favourite café near your offices, why not invite them to overtake the competition by offering your employees 10 or 25% off their lunch or morning coffee? They should get more customers and great recommendations in return.”
Being careful to consider existing employees’ opinions, an office dog or invitation to bring your own pet in from time to time could entice future staff.
Anita said: “Dogs are often said to be a man’s, or woman’s, best friend – and many people would love to work with their best friend around to keep morale high.”
8. Group bonding activities
Events and experiences that create fun memories and allow colleagues to get to know each other better as individuals can be a key contributor to a work environment that is attractive to prospective new members of the team.
Anita said: “Whether its tickets to a concert or a day at the races, to a paintballing session, an escape room challenge or even a simple pub quiz, group bonding activities can help foster a fun and welcoming office environment.”
9. Fitness aids
Personal fitness is increasingly a priority for millennials and the middle-aged alike, so companies that lend a hand in this area could be more appealing to possible new hires.
Anita said: “A partnership with a local gym or sports club to give your staff free membership could make the difference when employees are choosing their next move. If there’s space, why not provide some fitness equipment in the office too?.”
10. A games room
Many office spaces could attract new talent by providing a fun room full of pool or ping pong tables, video games or whatever entertainment people want.
Anita said: “Sometimes employees want somewhere to let their hair down at lunch time, or just break out for a few minutes during a stressful day – a games room can be perfect for that.”