Skip to main content

You may think prospective employees only look at the salary when weighing up job opportunities but, in fact, a recent survey by Glassdoor revealed that 57% of people rate benefits and perks among their top considerations before accepting a job. After all, when two job offers look fairly similar, these are what can really make an employer stand out from the competition. It also says a lot about the kind of employer they are and what the culture is going to be like.

So what are some of the more innovative benefits being offered?

Time …

Many of the benefits centre around time off, particularly in relation to maternity and paternity leave. For example, Netflix offers one paid year off to new parents, both mothers and fathers. They also allow them to return part-time or full-time and take time off as needed throughout the year. Such flexibility is highly valued by employees, especially in light of the cost of childcare. Spotify provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. More unusually, they also cover the costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance. In addition to the four paid months off they give as parental leave and an additional month of part-time hours, Pinterest also offer two counselling sessions to create a plan to re-enter the workplace.

Companies also offer time off for a variety of other reasons. Outdoor clothing company, REI, for example, encourages their employees to get outside by offering two paid days off a year, called “Yay Days”, to enjoy their favourite activity. Burton employees receive season ski passes and “snow days” to hit the slopes after a big snowfall. Salesforce are particularly altruistic in that they give their employees six days of paid volunteer time off a year, and if they use all six, they get a $1,000 (£820) grant to donate to a charity of their choice. The World Wildlife Fund give their employees every other Friday off, aptly named as Panda Fridays, to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.

Benefits in kind

Quite a few companies sensibly offer benefits linked to their own products or services. For example, Airbnb gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 (£1,639) to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world. In a bid to promote itself as the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Walt Disney wants its employees to enjoy their parks as much as their visitors, so offers them and their friends and family free admission, as well as discounts on hotels and merchandise. While Evernote hosts classes in its academy from team-building to macaroon baking.

Monetary value

On an educational level, if you work for PwC you will be offered $1,200 (£984) per year to pay back your student loan. Meanwhile, Twilio offer a Kindle plus $30 (£25) a month to purchase books. Facebook even provides $4,000 (£3,279) in “Baby Cash” to employees with a newborn. One that also caught our eye was Google, who provide the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next ten years.

What is clearly apparent is that the bar has certainly been raised in terms of the creative thinking taking place and the benefits being offered. Things have moved on from just free food or gym membership and employers from all backgrounds are coming up with more and more unusual and imaginative benefits. So whether it’s snow days or acupuncture, improvisation classes or a travel voucher, it is worth taking the time to ensure it is your benefits package as a whole which is going to attract the best prospective employees and not just the basic salary that goes with the role.

Skip to content