By Gemma Morris
18th April 2013

Is your company keeping up in the rewards race?

In today’s economy attracting and retaining top Information Management talent is critical to the success of your business. Demand for skilled data professionals is higher than ever so not only is it essential that you stand out from the competition when you’re recruiting but it’s crucial that you do all you can to engage and keep top talent within your organisation.

According to a recent study by Towers Watson almost three in four organisations report difficulties attracting critical skill employees, and more than half report difficulties retaining them.

They also cite that financially high performing organisations exhibit dramatically stronger consistency in talent management and reward program design. In other words your benefits and reward program is pretty important!

Rewards are changing

Over the last ten years recruiting in the Information Management market we’ve noticed a huge change in the benefits packages that our clients are offering. Of course base pay, profit related bonus, pensions and medical insurance still feature high on candidates agenda, but increasingly candidates are expecting lifestyle perks to improve their work life on a day to day basis. Perks like the ability to buy and sell holidays, childcare vouchers, flexible working, gym memberships and supplies of free food are all becoming more popular.

Business are also realising that one size doesn’t fit all. Giving employees the ability to tailor their rewards package to suit their individual needs is becoming more popular as organisations cater for a more diverse workforce.

Flexible benefits programmes are typically used in conjunction with a salary sacrifice scheme which can be a great way for you and your employees to take advantage of National Insurance savings too.

It’s all about lifestyle

You only need to take a look at the perks companies such as moneysupermarket.com are offering to see what you are up against in the fight for talent! Moneysupermarket have done a brilliant job of creating their employer brand to help them attract great people and increase applications. They’ve made sure the rewards they offer cover all bases, such as food, sporting opportunities, financial reward,  buying and selling holidays, flexible working, social occasions, family friendly perks such as childcare vouchers, training and career development and even lifestyle coaching and massages!  Google  who are known as one of the best companies to work for in the world have a loud and clear employer brand that reflects their company values.  Everyone knows Google as a cool, fun and creative place to work where the well-being of their employees is priority.  They’ve made sure the lifestyle perks they offer reinforce this and attract top talent that will fit in culturally.

Is it the end of the company car?

There’s been an increasing trend for organisations to replace company car schemes with cash allowances following the introduction of the carbon dioxide emissions based benefit-in-kind tax back in 2002.  Whilst there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ it is always a good idea to reassess which approach is best for your organisation.

Soon everyone will have a company pension

New legislation is being introduced that requires employers to automatically enrol eligible employees into a workplace pension and pay at least minimum levels of contributions toward their retirement savings. The new duties do not differentiate between permanent and temporary workers, so if you rely heavily on contractors it is worth reviewing the agreements you have in place as you may be required to put them into a pension plan.

Let your employees know you care

Of course large organisations have the financial backing that allows them to offer much more in the way of benefits, but even small companies can add perks that will improve the working conditions for their employees. I definitely think that our daily delivery of Graze boxes and sandwiches on a Friday add to the enjoyment of working at KDR! There’s a lot to be said for making your employees feel you care about their wellbeing.

Make your perks count

Whatever perks and benefits you offer it’s essential to relay this information to your recruitment partner.  It’s easy for hiring managers to get caught up in the details of the job and the person specification as well as the budget they’ve been given for a basic salary, but what seems like a minor detail can make all the difference.  As recruiters we know all too well how important the entire package matters and when it gets to offer stage additional benefits can be the deal breaker.  Really getting to know our candidates and what’s important to them as an individual enables us to make sure they know all the benefits of accepting an offer.  Flexible working, childcare vouchers or the ability to buy extra holidays often means working parents will choose one opportunity over another, whilst gym membership and healthy snacks will appeal to health conscious candidates.

So what about contract employees?

Of course if you employ contract staff then they won’t be eligible for a lot of the benefits available to your permanent employees but it’s worth considering what benefits you can offer them. For instance if contractors can make use of the gym or the subsidised canteen then make sure they know about it. 

Spotlight on perks

What is your company doing to keep up in the rewards race?  Do you offer well-being or lifestyle perks?

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