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What Benefits Do Candidates Really Want?

30 August 2019 By Thomas Breese

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We search for the answers to this big talent question. 

When it comes to discovering top talent, you probably know exactly what you’re looking for in an employee. But do you know what they want from you? Understanding the benefits and perks that are valuable to your most-wanted candidates is like unlocking a superpower in the search for great talent. But it’s not always as simple as having the biggest salary to offer or the best holiday allowance. Benefits are a complex issue and their value shifts from person to person. Luckily, there is research that can give you some insight into what candidates really want, and it could change how you think about candidate attraction.

We’ve dived into the statistics to help you understand how to attract (and keep hold of) the best and the brightest candidates. 

The Flexibility Factor  

The way we go to work is changing. And the ability to work flexibly both in terms of hours and location regularly comes out highly in surveys of work benefits. A 2018 survey from Robert Half found that 88% of employees were looking for flexible work schedules. In fact, it’s so important that 26% of respondents to a UK survey carried out by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk said they would take flexibility over a pay rise. 

Work Perks Change By Generation

Unsurprisingly, the things that matter most to baby boomers are those that are less important to millennials and Generation Z. The same survey by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk found that contributions to housing and paid parental leave were more important for younger workers. While baby boomers valued health insurance and sabbatical benefits. 

Private Medical Insurance Matters In The UK 

A 2018 analysis by The Knowledge Academy (based on data from Capita) found that, despite the NHS, private health insurance was a big selling point for UK workers. It came out top in their survey of desirable benefits with over 42% of workers saying it was the benefit they would most like to have. This was followed by retail vouchers (35%) and life insurance (34.5%).

Pay Could Be Less Important Than Benefits 

An infographic created by business mentorship organisation, Score, found that the right benefits package could be more valuable to employees than a pay rise. With 4 out of 5 employees saying that they would take the right perks or benefits over a bigger pay packet. While research by Grassroots, a leading provider of employee benefits, found that nearly 50% would turn down a job if the benefits package wasn’t up to scratch. These powerful statistics show just how important benefits can be, and how getting them right can be a major attraction factor for candidates. 

Benefits are an area that no organisation can afford to overlook. And it’s an employee offering that has to evolve and flex, both to the world we live in, and to individual employees. With tailored benefits packages providing an effective way to offer candidates what they really want from a role. 


If you’re looking to attract fresh talent with the right benefits, we can help. Get in touch to find out how Ventula are using cutting-edge technology and hiring strategies to connect you with the best candidates around.