Taking a closer look at which benefits your candidates value most as we move into the New Year is an important exercise as recruiters. Our candidate relationships place us in a good position to be able to inform our clients of the most desirable benefits in the market. Heading into the candidate-short market we’re facing in 2020, it’s never been more important for employers to hold on to high-quality talent. We’ve put together a summary of what candidates will be looking for over the next 12 months according to our recently released Salary and Benefits Review, made up in part from a survey of over 2000 UK employers in 2019.

Flexible working options

The results of our survey reinforced what we already know: there is a desire for better flexible working options from candidates. Despite this, a third of employees are still not happy with their flexi-options, proving that many employers aren’t fully embracing the flexible working trend. Remember, flexible working isn’t just being able to work from home – it also includes flexi-hours around a core day, reduced hours and job sharing. Whatever form it takes, it’s important to ensure that employers offer specialized options depending on the needs of each employee.

A sense of security

Interestingly, three of the top five benefits offered to candidates in 2019 fostered a sense of security and long-term financial management rather than short-term benefits. Out of all the surveyed respondents, 35% were offered health insurance, 25% were offered pension over the minimum rate and 23% a travel season ticket. As a result, it may be beneficial for you to encourage your clients to consider offering benefits that fall under this category, as they reassure your candidates in this current period of instability.

Better work-life blend

Over two-thirds of surveyed employees (68%) said a work-life blend was important in attracting them to their current role. An example of this was the fact that above statutory parental leave sat within the top six benefits offered to 20% of surveyed respondents. Other similar benefits we’ve seen offered to our candidates that contribute to a better work-life blend include annual leave for birthdays and an annual leave buy-back scheme.

A great work environment

Some benefits are more popular with different age groups than others. A great work environment is one of them, as according to the results of our survey, it’s significant in attracting employees under the age of 45 to a new role. As this is a growing demographic, it’s important for employers to assess the work environment that they’re fostering and see if there are ways it can be improved. A great way to do this is an internal feedback survey or suggestions box, as this way you’ll learn exactly what your employees value in the workplace. By contrast, those over the age of 55 value a great salary above all else.

Some other interesting benefits that we’re seeing

Other benefits that your candidates are looking for in the New Year include a cycle to work scheme (22%) and eye-care vouchers (20%). These are all health and wellbeing related benefits, which again shows that candidates are favoring these over financial, short-term options. Other interesting benefits revealed in the survey include a baby bonus, supplied breakfast and lunch, and unlimited time off.

We understand that your clients may not be able to offer all of these benefits, however, it’s important that they’re aware of the changing trends in what candidates value coming into 2020.

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