6 Benefits Candidates don’t really care about

There are many reasons why, as a business, you might struggle recruiting and retaining talent. 37% of companies blame competing organisations in general. However, nearly a third (29%) of SMEs say their benefits packages put candidates off. When it comes to in-demand skillsets, a great benefits package can get a candidate over the line. In this blog, we discuss which benefits won’t help you beat your competition to the best talent:

28 days holiday (inclusive of bank holidays)

This is not a ‘benefit’ it’s the statutory minimum holiday entitlement in the UK.

If you offer the minimum number of holidays to employees, there’s no way of dressing it up in a job ad. It’s best to be frank with candidates and focus on other areas where you do stand out from the crowd.

“Unlimited holidays.”

We couldn’t mention the statutory minimum number of holidays without following it up closely with the holiday policy seemingly at the other end of the scale. Unlimited or bottomless holidays has been the source of debate for quite some time now. Is it a good perk or not? Most research points to not. When companies provide unlimited holidays, employees tend to take off fewer holidays than if they were to have a holiday allowance. According to Charlie HR, “putting a numerical limit on holiday time has a counterintuitive effect. If you are given 25 days holiday that are yours to take, then you are subconsciously motivated to take them. It’s some kind of psychological quirk of ownership – when something belongs to you, then you immediately value it far more highly.”

Free gym membership…

Free gym membership sounds great on the surface. It instils visions of having a relaxing time in the sauna and/or jacuzzi after a hard day’s slog in the office. This is rarely the case though. More often than not the free membership companies provide is a budget no-contract membership to the cheapest (and therefore busiest) gym in town. With prices starting from as little as £9.99 in city centres, this is barely over the national living wage for one hours’ worth of work. Hardly a benefit to be writing about on a job description. So, note to employers: either splurge on a high-end health club membership, allow employees to pick, or give them the extra cash.

Social events

Which employees pay for. Yes, you read that right. It’s one thing going on an all-expenses-paid bar crawl with your work comrades. It’s another having to foot the bill yourself. And let’s not get started on how it’ll most likely be extending into employee’s personal time.

If organised fun is your company’s thing then go ahead, but follow these simple rules: ensure all arrangements are taken care before the event (this should include reasonable travel arrangements) and make sure managers don’t forget their credit cards.

Things to help you work

Equipping employees with a laptop and phone is not a perk; they need these to do their job. It’s irrelevant how ‘state of the art’ or high tech the devices are. Even if personal use is allowed, it’s still a company laptop, which will be handed back when employees decide to leave.

Furthermore, any paid-for memberships which aide an employee’s work is not a great benefit. Example number 1, LinkedIn Premium, employees do not care who is checking out their profile beyond the context of work. No other examples required.

Free tea and coffee

Inclusive hot beverage,s in our opinion, is really scraping the barrel. It’s on a par with “competitive salary” (because who wants a below-market salary?). The infamous tea break is a British tradition which you cannot deprive employees of – and being proud Northerners, we’d go as far as to say it should be a legal requirement to have (Yorkshire) tea bags available at all times.

These are just a handful of “benefits” which we’ve found companies boasting on their job advertisements. When it comes to perks, we find honesty is the best policy. If your benefits package isn’t the major drawer for working at your company, then don’t sell it as if it is. Focus on the real and tangible benefits you can offer, such as a collaborative company culture, an exciting startup atmosphere or the stability of working for an established brand, and the right talent will come.

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