Salary Looks Great, But What Are the Perks? Drawing On Company “Extras” to Captivate Candidates

It’s becoming ever-more critical that sourcers and recruiters know how to sell their company or client to candidates without getting stuck in a monetary loop. This means understanding all of the non-compensation extras which can help you acquire amazing talent – a vital skill when salary alone is not your strongest selling point. 

Start by creating a list which documents everything that might matter to candidates, and all of the correlating perks and positives your company or client can offer. This cheat-sheet will come in handy at multiple points up until the verbal offer, so it’s important to create it as early as possible for your reqs.

What will motivate, excite, and/or delight your candidates?

  • Tuition reimbursement for higher education, or for professional certifications
  • Reimbursement for networking groups, events, and/or industry associations
  • Family-friendly offerings, like reduced or free museum or event tickets
  • The independence to control one’s own work schedule
  • The ability to work virtually from home part, or all of the time
  • Free or reimbursed onsite parking for downtown office locations
  • A robust employee-discount on company products or services
  • Healthy and affordable food choices onsite or nearby
  • More than just bare-bones paid holidays, e.g. including the Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Health and wellness classes or events
  • Discounted gym memberships

Knowing which extras do exist and being able to effectively work them into your pitch is not only necessary, but it’s part of being a more innovative and holistic talent expert. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various awards and accolades your company or client has received, and their standing in the community, and industry as a whole.

In highly competitive situations, companies might offer a variety of perks that your candidate may not be even remotely aware of. These could include:

  • Generous paternity (as well as maternity) leave
  • Onsite health and wellness facilities (e.g. an employee gym, or recreational rooms)
  • An open and collaborative work environment, where departments/divisions are encouraged to interact 
  • Opportunities to network and socialize, both at work and after-hours
  • “Green” initiatives, like employee reimbursement for using public transportation
  • Bicycle storage options for local commuters
  • Dry-cleaning pick-up and delivery onsite
  • An onsite nurse’s office
  • An onsite mail/shipping center
  • An onsite daycare and/or afterschool-care center
  • Discounted internet, wireless, travel, and leisure services via corporate partnerships
  • Meals or snacks provided
  • The ability to bring pets to work
  • Car wash stations or other unusual amenities onsite

Recruiters and sourcers absolutely need to understand not only what their company or client can offer new hires in non-compensation terms, but also what they are up against, and where they may fall short. What does your competition offer its new hires?

Lastly, find out about your company or client’s social responsibility programs, including any volunteering or community events that new employees can get involved in, if the company matches any types of donations, and how the company’s culture promotes these activities. Candidates at every stage of their career like to know that a prospective employer “gives back” on a local or national scale, and that they themselves can contribute time, energy, and talents to the causes that they care most about.

If you find yourself recruiting for a company or clients who simply can’t compete on behalf of compensation, or other special incentives, don’t forget that altruistic and philanthropic initiatives may be a surprisingly effective motivator for job seekers. After all, candidates appreciate knowing that they will be cared for by the company, and that they, in turn, will have the chance to care for others. Furthermore, find out if your company or client has committees or groups focused on diversity, inclusion, career development, and recreation, where new hires can foster a sense of appreciation and support for one another.

As a recruiter or sourcer, it may seem challenging to sell candidates on company culture and associated extras, but it’s well worth the effort. Increasingly competitive labor markets means increasingly competitive extras being offered by companies that are searching for the exact same set of applicants as you are.

Attracting and retaining superior talent on the basis of salary and average benefits is a thing of the past. As talent experts, you need to stay ahead of the curve and utilize every advantage you’ve got to spark the interest and imaginations of the best contenders out there.   

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