As vacancies soar, UK businesses are scrambling to provide benefits and incentives to attract new talent – but how do the perks on offer line up with the expectations of a post-Covid workforce?
To find out, the call answering service Moneypenny analysed 1,000 job listings on Indeed and compared them to survey responses from 1,000 employees. They found that the top benefit offered by businesses is also the benefit which employees desire most – a pension.
Though providing pensions to is a legal requirement in the UK cemented in the Pensions Act 2008, 41% of the job listings examined listed pensions as a “perk”. On the employees’ side, 42% of those surveyed said that a pension is the most important benefit a job can offer.
Predictably, flexible working hours and the ability to work from home appears high on both lists, with 40% saying that flexible working hours are essential, and 30% demanding work from home options. 22% of the Indeed listings included the ability to work from home, while only 12% listed flexible working as a perk.
Interestingly, some of the most popular perks in the job listings are the benefits which many employees believe should be made mandatory. Over half of the respondents said that sick pay and pensions should be mandatory, and 46% believe that flexible working hours should be a mandatory option for employers to offer.
Other benefits, such as free eye tests, working from home, maternity/paternity/adoption leave, time off in lieu of overtime, coffee/tea, training, and death in service insurance, all saw over 30% of employees respond that these perks should be required by employers.
Moneypenny also looked at the benefits that employees already have, and this varied based on generation. 18–24-year-olds are most likely to have access to training and time off in the case of losing a child, while over-65s are most likely to have a pension and sick pay. Both age groups reported that they are likely to have on-site parking available to them.
What matters to employees also varied by generation, with a quarter of younger people surveyed saying that they would be interested in having beers on Fridays. Only 2% of employees over 65 agreed with their younger colleagues.
As the talent shortage continues, it is likely that employers will need to offer more in order to attract employees. The survey shows that the most important benefits to employees (pension, sick pay, and flexible working hours), are among the benefits listed most often by employers. However, less than half of the job listings offered even the top choices, showing that more will need to be done if businesses want to bring in highly motivated, talented employees.