The concept of employee benefits may seem fairly recent, but the first benefit dates all the way back to 13 BCE, with Caesar Augustus offering his legionnaires a post-retirement pension! Nowadays, most companies offer a plethora of benefits, with some being legally required in the USA. The question for employers is – what constitutes an attractive employment package?

  • A valuable component of such a package, studies have found, is flexibility. Offering employees the ability to make their own decisions, to a certain degree, lets them feel trusted. Flexible work hours, and even remote or hybrid modes, allow companies to access a wider pool of talent – especially individuals who might be unable to work standard hours or might not find it feasible to come to office every day.
  • The promotion of work-life balance is another widely appreciated benefit. While encouraging dedication towards one’s job is important, providing employees with an environment that allows them to also focus on their personal life shows that they are valued and lets them grow. Flexibility in these aspects appeals to a wide set of employees, attracting freshers and experienced professionals (who could also have family commitments) alike.
  • Another more expensive (but highly recommended) benefit is assistance with insurance and loans. Most respondents in this study say they would give a job “heavy consideration” if it offered health, dental, and vision insurance, meaning this particular benefit gives companies a great chance of onboarding and retaining skilled employees.

As of the aforementioned study, only 3% of companies offer student loan assistance, making it quite a rare benefit to come across. However, around 43 million Americans have student debt, giving any company lending assistance with it an edge when it comes to hiring.

  • With the previously stated work-life balance comes the need to exercise. While exercise is essential to maintaining good health, monetary and temporal limitations can be significant roadblocks on the fitness journey. Given this, free gym memberships and fitness classes are very desirable benefits; they allow employees to stay healthy and sharp while simultaneously sending the message that the company cares for them.

The number of respondents who say that this factor would impact their decision to join a company is admittedly lower than the previous two recommendations. Yet, free gym memberships are almost equally desired by both men and women, unlike most other benefits in the study, which means they appeal to a wider audience.

These benefits are not legal requirements for companies, but they do boost the chances of hiring proficient and experienced employees. And as businesses try to find new and even unique ways to attract and retain people, they would do well to remember that offering some of these commonly desired benefits will go a long way in strengthening their image as an employer of choice.

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