Work perks are quickly becoming a crucial part of attracting the very best candidates to your roles.
Yes everyone loves a competitive salary, open-plan city-centre offices and plenty of holidays – but companies are being forced to get inventive with perks to make their business the place to be for inspired, young applicants.
So, what can Irish companies, in particular, do to set themselves apart from the competition and offer some truly attractive work perks?
Freedom to travel
Travel is on everyone’s mind these days.
It’s almost as if you haven’t lived until you’ve hopped on a plane and seen the world.
Even career-minded folk who value their company position over the thought of nights sleeping on the beach can be forgiven for yearning to get away from it all. In this new reality, employers shouldn’t try and repress a yearning for adventure, they should embrace it.
A great work perk to rope in great candidates early is to offer them the opportunity to travel down the line. Sabbaticals and extended holiday periods are now becoming commonplace, but give your team the impression they won’t need to give years to the company to get a month out to travel. You can even introduce the idea of remote working while travelling to please both parties.
Adventurous go-getters can also be swayed by the promise of travelling for work. Whether internationally or within the country, travelling for business can be an enlightening experience for your staff. With saving systems such as an Applegreen fuel card (fuel card novices can learn more here) and frequent flyer miles it doesn’t even cost businesses that much to send an extra staff member on what could be a great educational journey.
More and more Irish companies across a number of different sectors are embracing the idea of hiring internationally.
Bringing in international candidates is not as easy a process as our global economy might suggest. Yes, the tools are there to find great applicants, but there are legitimate logistical issues to hiring from abroad. If the process is not treated with respect and consideration for the individual involved you can end up missing out on a high-quality candidate with a unique, creative perspective.
You need to make these candidates feel comfortable – and doing so requires relocation assistance.
Make the applicant feel wanted. Show them you’re willing to help them find a temporary living situation until they find the perfect permanent home. Put effort into acclimatising them into a new culture with social events. Provide home comforts to make them feel more at ease in their new setting, particularly when they’re at work.
Expecting someone to just slot in and feel at home in a new place, no matter how far they’ve travelled, is ignorant. Listen to what international applicants are saying and build a relocation plan around it.
We all want a great salary, the corner office and free coffee on tap – but above all else most workers just want to feel appreciated for the effort they put in.
You can’t put a price on being celebrated for a job well done, but you can use it to make sure you have a happy workforce. HR Headquarters reported earlier this year that 24% of Irish workers believed they were underappreciated at work, making it one of the biggest barriers to engagement in offices across the country.
If you want to build a team that works to maximum capacity and brings new ideas to the table you need to make sure you appreciate what they already do.
One of the better ways to do this is to celebrate important milestones. Making a big fuss about a job well done, winning a new client or recording new profit records is great – but sometimes you need to just take a moment to celebrate the presence of key workers.
Celebrate major milestones with the company, whether that’s promotions or anniversaries. It gives everyone an opportunity to take a break from work and celebrate one important person. That worker will now realise that their presence alone is appreciated and go back to their work invigorated to keep performing.
It’s a simple, harmless way to build morale and keep your best people happy.
Remote working and flexi-time
By now, a lot of us are very familiar with the idea of working remotely.
If you were averse to it before and believed your company could never stay as productive from makeshift bedroom offices you’ve likely been proved wrong.
Many modern companies can do everything entirely remotely and even if you’re not planning to go down that route full time there are a lot of lessons about making your business more flexible to take away from this whole experience.
The modern worker has hundreds of responsibilities and not enough time to do it in. they have childcare needs, appointments to get to and a social life to try and balance with their work. Having a more flexible schedule in your organisation can help accommodate these needs and make sure you’re not losing out on key talent for the sake of “the way things have always been.”
Embrace remote working as a permanent option for your team. Don’t force it upon people it doesn’t accommodate, but be willing to accept it as an alternative. Lockdown has shown there are communication and project management tools out there to keep businesses running as usual even if people are out of the office.
Workers who are used to this will be attracted to the prospect of retaining theri schedule in a new job, and won’t be afraid to turn down an opportunity to work with you because of potential life changes.
In reality, employee perks are pretty easy to get right. People want to work less and feel happier. That might not chime with your profit margins, but you can work around the edges of that sentiment to create an environment where people are inclined to put in the effort and build a strong collective.