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Perks, Perks, Perks! Options Today’s Job Seekers Want – and Your Business Can Afford

Candidates want them…

According to stats cited in this Harvard Business Review article, roughly 60% of people report that perks and benefits are a major job-offer acceptance factor. What’s more, 80% of employees would opt for additional benefits over additional pay!

…but can your business afford them?

Gargantuan employers like Google, IBM and and Amazon have immense buying power, and it’s easier for them to absorb the price of healthcare insurance and other benefits into their cost structures. But for a typical small- or mid-sized business, offering great perks can be an extremely expensive proposition. What’s on today’s job seeker’s “most wanted list”? This Forbes.com article lists these top five employee benefits:

  1. Caregiver leave
  2. Adoption leave
  3. On-site gym
  4. Performance-based incentives
  5. Family leave

Large companies tend to have excellent retirement and healthcare plans, making it tough for smaller employers to compete in these areas to attract exceptional candidates – but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. To compete on perks and benefits, get creative! Here are a few low-cost perks and benefits you can use to attract talent:


Employees like to be recognized for their hard work; often the acknowledgement itself is more meaningful than any monetary reward received. Invest time to design and implement a program that’s consistent, timely, in-line with your values, and fair.

Discounts at local businesses.

If you can’t afford to build an on-site gym or child-care center, make it more affordable for employees to obtain these services. Approach owners of local businesses to negotiate a group discount – and, if it makes sense, offer a discount on your products or services in return. Apply the same concept to negotiate reciprocal discounts with other businesses in your area. With a little work, you can create a discount co-op of sorts, in which multiple local companies offer discounts to employees of all employers in the group. Candidates will love the perks, and you’ll be supporting local businesses at the same time!


Offering a robust PTO program can be extremely costly, but with a little ingenuity you can offer candidates what they really want – work/life balance and schedule flexibility – without paying a dime. Here are a few “flex time” arrangements, as defined by The Families and Work Institute, which deliver tremendous benefits to employees:

  • Traditional flex time – permanently shifting start and end times.
  • Daily flex time – changing start and end times for one or more days, on short notice.
  • Compressed workweeks – redistributing weekly work hours into fewer days, such as a 4-day / 10-hour work week.
  • Flex place – working part of the time off-site (i.e., telecommuting).

To get the greatest recruiting benefit, consider offering programs that allow employees to control their starting/stopping times or select the best work shifts for them. Ideally, you should aim to balance the needs of your company with job seekers’ desire for flexibility.

Don’t forget promotion!

Once you create a strong benefits and perks package, shout it from the rooftop. Promote your recognition program in a variety of places, so job seekers can see how much you value your employees:

  • on your website, particularly on pages candidates visit;
  • in job postings;
  • during job interviews;
  • anyplace else you engage with candidates.

Need help recruiting good people in Middle Tennessee?

Contact our Murfreesboro employment agency – or your local Wood Personnel office – today.