SoloPoint Insights

Tight Labor Market = Unconventional Benefits On The Rise

In a historically tight labor market, employers are trying to compete in hiring (and keeping) top talents by offering more unconventional benefits. Multiple studies have confirmed that what drives workers to shift jobs are for benefits that promote a better work-life balance, rather than just for better pay.

In a survey on the importance of benefits, 57% of job seekers report that benefits are among the top consideration when accepting a job, while 80% of workers would prefer additional benefits over pay increases to stay in their current ones. Benefits are even more important when recruiting for a younger generation. 90% of workers within the 18-34 age range said they would prefer benefits over higher pay versus 70% of those in the 45-54 age range.

“It is no longer just about compensation, as employees also view time spent with family and friends—and pursuing other aspects of their life—as highly significant,” said Catherine Wragg, TriNet’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “Non-traditional benefits can help employers stand out by offering uncommon perks that can be meaningful to employees, positively impact company culture, and potentially help retain top talent.”

In a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) on benefits offered by companies, 1 in 3 employers responded that they had made changes to increase benefits in 2017, particularly in health and wellness perks.

In’s 2018 Salary Report, which surveyed hundreds of tech job seekers and employers, one of the statistics that stood out was the huge jump in numbers of companies offering unconventional benefits.

In 2009, only 53% of employers were offering benefits such as more vacation, flexible work hours or the option to telecommute. The number jumped to 71% by 2018.

1. Flexible Work HoursIn a survey conducted by TriNet, an HR Solutions company, workers ranked flexible work hours/schedule as the most important non-traditional benefit with a 4.38 weighted average on a scale of 5. In a separate survey by Harvard Business Review, out of 2000 people, 88% said they would put more consideration towards a job offer that allows flexible hours. A large segment that ranked this benefit higher than others were working parents who are looking to be more active in their children’s activities.

2. Work From Home/Telecommuting – In the above salary report, 60% of the tech workers surveyed said they would prefer to work at a job where they can work half the time or more, but only 22% currently do. It is also worth noting that 63% of respondents said they would be willing to take a pay cut to telecommute at least half the time.

“I’m not advocating for a cut in pay, but most tech pros could probably negotiate some kind of work-from-home deal,” says George McFerran, Executive Vice President at Dice. “And for organizations that can’t compete on salary to get that elite tech talent, offering remote and telecommuting options — even just part of the time or a few days a week — means they’ll be able to land those great hires,” he says.

3. Health and Wellness PerksDebra Wein, a national expert on health and wellness in the workplace, wrote in a piece that offering a well-designed wellness program can be the difference maker in signing an employee or sending them to a competitor. She cited a survey conducted by Workforce Magazine where 87% of job seekers say they consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer and that 67% of employees whose organizations offer wellness programs are more likely to stay and recommend their employer to others.

“As a wellness program provider, I know that when wellness is woven into the foundation of an organization’s culture, employees feel that their well-being is important to their employer and they become more productive and engaged,” Wein said.

Additionally, contract workers are increasingly requesting similar benefits as their full-time counterparts. Contract workers are attracted to assignments which offer flexibility and work life balance as well as standard benefits such as health and dental insurance, and PTO.

In the highly competitive technical staffing arena, SoloPoint Solutions have collaborated with client companies to craft benefit packages, both conventional and unconventional, in order to engage qualified workers. This has allowed us to attract and hire strong candidates.

Contact us today for ideas on attracting and engaging engineering candidates!