Why You Need to Stop Using Ridiculous Perks to Attract Talent

Why You Need to Stop Using Ridiculous Perks to Attract Talent
From Recruiter - January 4, 2017

Unlimited free food. In-office gyms. Hammocks. Rock-climbing walls. Personal concierges. A $10,000 workplace furnishing allowance.Modern workplace perks are getting a little bit ridiculous. When companies go overboard, they can come off looking like try-hardswhich might make candidates start to wonder why they need to go to such extent to keep people happy.

But at the same time, many candidatescant help but marvel at how glamorous it all sounds. After allwho wouldnt want theiremployer to pay fortheir wedding? Thats why recruiters go out of their way to tout their companies best qualities, all in hopes of attracting the best talent.

To be fair, if competing employers offerall those benefits, you do have to keep up.That being said, an employer needs to go beyond perks to actually make their workplace desirable.

Its not perks that retain talentits a great company culture. Here are three ways to create a culture that gets peopleexcited and engaged:

Replace Free Food With Better Socializing Opportunities

Dont get me wrong: Free food is awesome. I live for free samples, and if theres any food at work, I get excited. But what is free food in the workplace subconsciously doing to us?

Its actually making us way more tied to work than we should be. Instead of leaving the office for lunch orGod forbidmaking our own lunches, we get our meals right at our desks. And hey, why stop at lunch? Thekitchen is full of snacks,so you might as well work later and eat some of this food for dinner!

In other words, free food can make people stay at the office too long, whichcan lead to overwork and burnout. On top of that, its damn costly! In the U.S., organizationsspend more than $20 billion on corporate cateringannually. And if you ever decide to cut those costs or the office manager forgets to stock up, staff wont be happy.

Your safest bet is to offer free coffee and surprise your staff with food occasionallybut not as incentive to stay at work later. Create a great lunch room with long tables where people can sit and socialize. Institutea policy of no eating at the desk so people arent glued to their work all day without interruption. Have managers and team leaders eat in the same space as employees do. This will create a great communal culture and make communication easier during work hours.

To showcase this during the recruiting process, have the candidate sit down for lunch with the rest of the staff. Youll also be able to use this opportunity to see how they get along with others.

Replace Time Off With Work Flexibility

Many top employers lists are laden with companies thatprovide a ton of paid time off to their employees.While Im all for that, its not necessary.

What you can do instead is create an environment where employees come to work to get work done, and if they want time off, they just need to give a solid reason and construct a game plan. This means booting the 9-5 schedule and giving employees ownership of their time. Some people are simply more productive after 11 a.m., and some can work late into the night. Some would rather take a solid month off every year, while others would prefer the occasional long weekend.


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