3 employee perks job seekers want (survey results).

  • career advice
  • July 05, 2018

We all know how important great perks and benefits are for your on-the-job satisfaction. But Randstad's nationwide survey found that fewer than half of employees are currently satisfied with the benefits their companies offer.

Does that sound like you? If so, let's look at some of the key takeaways from our survey. They might help you and your employer better align on the perks and benefits that actually matter.

the importance of great work perks

Make no mistake about it: Having access to great work perks and benefits is absolutely critical for both recruitment and retention. According to Randstad's survey:

  • Forty-two percent of employees are considering leaving their current jobs because their employee benefits packages are inadequate.
  • Fifty-five percent have left jobs in the past because they were offered better benefits or perks elsewhere.

Clearly, the stakes are high. What is perhaps more surprising, though, is that Randstad's survey also revealed that benefits can be more important than salary alone when you’re considering a new job offer. Sound familiar?

Indeed, 66 percent of employees said that strong benefits packages and perks are the largest determining factors when accepting a job offer, and 61 percent said they would be willing to accept a lower salary if it meant working for a company that had a great benefits package.

What else did we discover from our survey? The following three findings might resonate with you as well.

1. flexibility at work matters a lot

Not surprisingly, a more flexible workplace tends to be a more employee-friendly workplace, too. And with alternative arrangements like remote work rising in response to COVID-19, flexibility in the workplace is more important than ever.

But one unexpected finding from our survey is that having access to material benefits — for instance, building an onsite gym, or making sure that the kitchen is always stocked with treats — doesn’t carry the same weight in the minds of employees as more straightforward policy changes that are probably easier and less expensive for companies to implement. Our survey predates COVID-19, of course, but it seems plausible that many of these have become even greater priorities since the onset of the global pandemic.

For instance, consider the fact that respondents ranked the following three employee perks most highly:

  • 33% early friday releases
  • 26% flexibility and remote working
  • 23% onsite amenities such as gyms and dry cleaning

Interestingly, another policy-related benefit — unlimited vacation time — finished a close fourth (22%).

2. offer employee benefits that improve work-life balance

Nearly all employees (94%) in Randstad's survey said they would like to see their employers update their perks and benefits in ways that actually impact quality of life — for example, by offering to help employees pay off student-loan debt.

The bad news, then, is how many employers seem to be failing in this department as far as work-life balance is concerned. Roughly a third (31%) of employees indicated that benefits and perks offered by their employers only enhance their physical and mental well-being. And more than a third (35%) of employees don’t think that their companies’ benefits packages support personal obligations tied to family life, paying off student loans and work flexibility.

Ouch.

3. consider the generational differences of employee benefit preferences

Our recent compensation white paper called attention to COVID-19-inflected generational differences around compensation structures, and perks and benefits are a part of that picture, as well. Companies that wish to attract and win over the best and the brightest young minds need to offer employee perks and benefits that align with the goals of millennial and Gen Z talent — and at the moment, not many are doing it.

What are those goals, exactly? More than anything else, these younger job seekers want help paying for education.

In Randstad's survey, 41 percent of survey respondents aged 18 to 24 said that, while their organizations don’t offer benefits related to student loan reimbursement or helping them pay off student loans, they wished that they did. A further 35 percent of respondents from that cohort said they wanted tuition assistance programs — programs in which employers partially or fully subsidize the cost of employees' degrees — that their employers aren’t offering.

Clearly, companies should bear in mind that different generations want different employee perks and benefits — for instance, employers over the age of 50 named health insurance as the most important benefit. What Randstad's survey also clarifies is that to attract and retain valuable talent of any age, many companies have their work cut out.

Looking for more insights to help you evaluate job offers and land your next great opportunity? Check out all of our career resources for job seekers.