Ask a Recruiter: What Company Perks Do Candidates Really Want?

Ask a Recruiter, For Employers

bristol employee benefits

Sure, free food, “bring your dog to work day,” and a gym membership may sound like great perks but for most employees, it’s the more traditional benefits that count.

According to a recent Glassdoor Employee Confidence survey, 4 in 5 employees are looking for benefits or perquisites (perks) more than they are looking for a pay raise. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) documented how employee benefits and perks had evolved in the last 20 years in their SHRM 2016 Report on Employee Benefits. While the report states, “Compared with five years ago, more organizations are offering monetary bonus benefits such as employee referral bonuses, spot/bonus awards, sign-on bonuses for executives and nonexecutives, as well as retention bonuses for nonexecutives,” it’s still the non-monetary perks that employees seek.

Bristol Associates reached out to four of their executive recruiters: Jenae Nordman, Peter Stern, Steven Kessler and Kelly Nelson, to get their feedback.


What company perks are the most attractive to candidates?

“I feel that opportunity within a company is a perk. An attractive company is one that rewards employees for their hard work along with encouraging growth. Flexible working hours suggest that a company understands and values their employee’s time.” – Jenae Nordman, Recruiting Coordinator

“A growing number of candidates that I speak with are very interested in a flex schedule. This may allow them to accommodate family commitments or a challenging commute. Some also appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of continuing education sponsored by an employer. This increased knowledge can help the employee move up in an organization and further their career.” – Peter Stern, Executive Recruiter specializing in the Food Manufacturing industry

“I find that many candidates are most concerned about having a solid health insurance plan for themselves and family members, as well as a 401-K or retirement plan. In addition, they want to know that paid vacation and paid personal time off (PTO) would be part of the package.” – Steven Kessler, Executive Recruiter Specializing in Casino Gaming and Restaurants

“Perks can be an inexpensive means to enhance an employment offer.  A company car lease is always well received and the monthly cost can be less than $500. City club memberships can be a win/win as the employee can use the membership for client meetings and lunches. Most companies now include cell phones and other electronic devices — but these are rarely included in the offer letter.” – Kelly Nelson, Executive Recruiter specializing in the Hospitality and Tourism industries

A benefits package is a major factor in attracting and retaining top talent. Whatever benefits or perks you negotiate, employers and candidates alike should always be sure, when making or accepting an offer of employment, to have perks and benefits fully detailed in the offer letter.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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