According to new research released by global recruitment specialist Michael Page, more than eight in ten (82%) Brits think businesses over-complicate workplace benefits, making them difficult to understand, and hard to use or claim.
The survey – conducted among 1,000 UK adults (18+)* – also revealed that almost two thirds (64%) of people believe businesses are investing in expensive benefits that employees neither want, need nor use. Rather than offering unusual job benefits, such as free massages, which seven in ten (70%) find a “gimmick”, more practical benefits topped the most wanted list.With 73% saying that benefits factor into their decision to turn down a job, the results highlight the importance of getting the benefits mix right in today’s competitive job market.
Most Wanted: Top Five Benefits
- Flexible working hours (71%)
- Work-from-home options (55%)
- Unlimited paid holiday (46%)
- Company car or subsidised travel (43%)
- Weekly free lunches (41%)
Oliver Watson, Executive Board Director for UK and North America at PageGroup, commented: “Whether you’re an employer scouting for new talent, or a candidate searching for a new job, the benefits package on offer needs to match both parties’ expectations. Yet while we may be accustomed to negotiating a starting salary, discussing more tailored benefits is rarely given the same priority – resulting in neither party getting an agreement that drives engagement for an employee and performance for an employer.”
As it stands, more than half (52%) of respondents said there was no opportunity to negotiate the benefits package on offer to them last time they interviewed for a job. In fact, over a third (37%) did not know what their benefits package comprised of before they took their current job, and two-thirds (65%) have been surprised to find out about a particular benefit after working in a role for some time.
Watson continued: “As working cultures become more flexible and dynamic, a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to benefits no longer applies. With only two in ten (20%) UK consumers completely satisfied with their current benefits package and 85% saying a flexible benefits package would make a job more desirable to them, employers need to relax their typically fixed policies and start an open conversation about benefits far earlier in the recruitment process.”