What perks do employees actually want?

Talent Trends

This week, we’re following up on some research we did with Perkbox, the employee experience platform.

Together, we polled 7,400 young professionals about their desired employee perks and analysed 8,700 job descriptions targeted at recent graduates in the past 12 months.

So, what perks do employees actually want? And what are employers offering in return?

Perks sought-after by employees

Top 10 perks for employees (PerkBox) - graphic

Perks offered by employers

Top 10 perks advertised most by employers (TalentPool) - graphic

The results show that the perks most sought after by employees-to-be involve opportunities to connect with others. Extra-curricular clubs rank first, followed by access to office pool and table tennis tables as well as office sports teams. Ranking further down the list are discounts – on everything from holidays to restaurant takeaways – and free tea and coffee.

Employers, take note: while many job descriptions advertise free tea and coffee, training, and private healthcare, relatively few emphasise their company’s social events and positive culture. Maybe it’s time to contact that yoga instructor you heard about 👀

Notably, flexible working, which has gained popularity in recent years, pops up fairly often in job descriptions – and with good reason, too. A 2017 YouGov survey found that 89% of UK workers considered flexible working key to productivity and a healthy work-life balance.

So what?

The competition for top talent is high, and companies are clearly going above and beyond traditional job benefits to attract and retain the best of the best. But – whilst it's great to see the wide variety of perks out there, from unlimited vacation to beer taps in the office – are we sure that we're offering the perks that employees actually want?

We need to be listening to what our prospective and current employees are asking for, otherwise we risk wasting both time and resources on perks that aren't going to be used or appreciated. Perhaps businesses need not look further than relatively low-cost perks, such as free tea and coffee or office sports teams, to keep their employees happy and healthy.

Although we can’t say for sure what the future holds – and the trends will continue to change – we thought we’d leave you with a few of the more novel perks that we’ve come across this month.

  • ‘Paw-ternity’ leave – this pooch-based perk allows employees a week’s leave to bond with their new dog.
  • Employer-provided housing – it only sounds crazy before you consider the average cost of renting in London!
  • ‘20% time’ policies – Google famously encourages its employees to spend 20% of their time pursuing passion projects on the side.
  • The ‘Dream Machine’ – whereby one employee’s dreams (anything from an epic trek through Africa to staging a sci-fi rock opera) come true every time the company meets a major target.

What's got us talking this week?

🎮 User Inyerface – A worst-practice UI experiment | Bagaar

A self-described “challenging exploration of user interactions and design patterns”, this parody of bad user interface (UI) is definitely worth checking out!

📚 What to Do When You’re the Only Woman in the Room | NYTimes

If you’re the ‘only’ in a group setting – whether you’re a woman, a person of colour, or another minority – don’t underestimate the importance of your presence. Studies overwhelmingly show that companies with greater diversity have better performance and higher productivity. Dolly Chugh gives an insight into how to navigate your outsider status.

📚 What Seven Years at Airbnb Taught Me About Building a Business | Medium

Shortly after Airbnb acquired his startup, Lenny Rachitsky started at the company as an engineer, later becoming one of the first members of its budding PM team. His top tips for building a business? Create strong culture, stay laser-focused on problems, and set wildly ambitious goals.

If you'd like to receive our latest data releases via email, simply follow this link to subscribe to our Talent Trends newsletter.

Post written by Sophie Hudson and Isabel Morris from TalentPool