The path to success almost always starts with attracting and retaining top-notch talent, but finding the right balance of salary, perks, benefits and workplace experiences requires a delicate touch.
There is far from consensus on the best way to find the right workers, and at least one consultant and former HR executive has criticized the excessive lengths some companies have gone when crating benefits packages. Others note there are a number of variables that employees consider when choosing to commit to a company and a number of ways to entice prospective employees that will thrive.
‘Meaningful Work’ is the Best Benefit You Can Offer
Patty McCord, founder of Patty McCord Consulting and former chief talent officer at Netflix, lamented on the new “coin of the realm"--egregious and excessive perks, especially at start-up companies fighting for every potential superstar employee. McCord made her comments in a recent Harvard Business Review article. McCord says free alcoholic drinks and workplace naptime can only get you so far, as many employees are going to be more attracted to “meaningful work” rather than “over-the-top-perks.”
“As I visit young companies, I’ve seen every kind of perk imaginable," she tells the publication. "Razor scooters, take-your-dog-to-work, in-house baristas, free snacks and lunches: Yawn. Yoga classes, massage therapy, acupuncture, pre-paid Uber accounts: Been there, done that.”
McCord says that while many of these ideas start off well-intentioned, some of them wind up going a bit too far. As a result of venture capitalists throwing money at new companies--once there was a scarcity of capital there is now too much--companies are stretching the limits of reasonable perk and benefit offerings.
Companies that succeed, McCord says, are the “ones where people are going to work because they get to collaborate with great colleagues on important products. Perks are nice, but meaningful work is better.”
Measuring What Employees Get Out of Work
Understanding the balance of what employees get out of work compared to what they put into it could help illuminate the most effective way to hire and keep good employees. And, doing so has substantial benefits. According to an article in Becker's Hospital Review, a study from Gallup shows companies that hire top candidates see an increase in productivity, decrease in turnover and an increase in profitability.
In order to get those candidates, employers should offer a unique vale proposition, seek candidates that share a skill set with top-performing employees, and are a good cultural match. Companies that offer perks enticing to the types of people who fit the company culture will be able to find the best matches.
Romance, Creativity and a Decent Lifestyle
A survey conducted by The Telegraphin conjunction with easyJet and YouGov found approximately one-third of the companies surveyed say recruitment is a major challenge. Only one-quarter “find it easy” to hire an appropriately skilled staff. HR professionals offered some tips to remedy those difficulties. One way to lure the best and brightest is with an “employment package that has attractive lifestyle benefits.”
“For example, our staff increasingly want short sabbaticals to go travelling or to deal with personal challenges,” says Cetsat’s Durgan Cooper. “Employers need to take account of their employees’ lives, and [provide a deal that’s about more than] just money,” the article reads.
Among some of the other suggestions to find the best employees are a quick and personal hiring process that includes some “romance;” use some outside-of-the-box thinking; and emphasize people rather than skill sets.