Flexible working matters most to jobseekers
UK Employers are constantly challenged to think of unique initiatives which will help secure and develop the best talent for their business.
Career progression for some of the high-demand skilled areas means that some candidates are experiencing promotions at a pace unheard in many other industries. Millennials expect more from the companies they choose to work for in terms of development, progression and remuneration. The number of jobs available for certain technical skills within the media Marcoms sectors, in comparison to the number of skilled job seekers who are actively looking in growing sectors, continues to be out of proportion. Offering a competitive advantage to new recruits has never been more important.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC reports that “There are big opportunities out there for candidates right now looking for a new role.” Markit/ REC September 2018 reports on jobs
Many employers believe that if they offer the right benefits on top of a healthy salary, they will recruit more successfully (faster and more effectively) as well as retain their key people. Good company benefits are definitely important to employees but our research showed that they were not at the top of the wish list belonging to some of the most talented people we have seen this year.
In August/ September 2018, we asked some of our registered job seekers in the areas of marketing, communications, market research, media & digital sectors which company benefits they valued most highly and, given the choice, would make the top of their wish list when considering a new job offer.
One might assume that applicants would put gym, private medical, travel allowance, pension or other wellbeing benefits high on their agenda, especially given the number of companies we work with who offer one or more of these as a benefit anyway.
Although these were ranked highly, what was really interesting was the number of respondents who cited flexible working hours as their top priority. By flexible working we mean having flexible start and finish times, or working from home or working part time, outside of your standard and traditional “9-5.30”. It also includes extended annual leave which would be outside the norm.
An overwhelming 86% of respondents said that if offered 2 similar roles, the chance to work flexibly would influence their decision to accept one job offer over another.
74% of those specifically mentioned remote working. 72% said they would like the option to negotiate or purchase extended annual leave (paid or unpaid), with one individual specifiying the wish to take all school holidays as leave and not be penalised in the process.
What was interesting in our study was that, of those who preferred to be offered additional leave, only 44% were parents or carers, 72% however were Millennials.
Why would Millennials want extra holiday? Quite possibly because they have a young family and want to balance their leave with school holidays. They may want time off to study, they could be juggling two or more jobs, or it could be because Millennials like to travel more, according to Travel Weekly.
Some employers have even gone so far as to offer “unlimited holiday” to attract the best people they can. Strictly speaking this means they can take as much leave as they want however some argue that offering unlimited holiday has the reverse effect as there is no adequate cover for when the person is away and so the backlog of work just piles up or taking the extra time has a negative impact on promotion prospects, with the result that employees are not even using their minimum entitlement for fear of seeming not committed and due to workload pressures .
Top 10 benefits
- Flexible hours / working 86%
- Ability to take extended holiday (paid or unpaid) 72%
- Training allowance (questionably not a benefit) 39%
- Private Medical 68%
- Enhanced pension scheme 49%
- Gym membership or discounted/ wellbeing allowance 62%
- Travel allowance 26%
- Dental allowance 33%
- Free food fruit and breakfast 9%
- Safe bike parking 6%
Other benefits offered by some of the companies we work with
- Time off charity days
- Extended and enhanced parental leave / maternity
- Sickness benefits
- Free lunch
- Cycle to work scheme
- Discounted or free gadgets / phones / laptops / games
- Additional bonus (we would argue this isn’t a benefit but part of remuneration )
- Crèche facilities
- Social drinks on Friday/ onsite bar
- Early finish Friday
- Discounts with local shops
- Subsidised restaurant
- Discounted / free weekend trips
- Life assurance
- Death in service benefit
- Disability allowance
- Chance to take Sabbatical
For more information on flexible working hours, benefits within the marketing & media sectors or to discuss your next role, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced recruitment consultants.
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