Ping pong tables, scooters and free food used to be the gold standard of company culture. But with a quickly growing market and talented job seekers filling recruiters’ pipelines, it takes more than just surface-level perks to attract—and keep—top talent.
In fact, 57% of people say that benefits and perks are a top determining factor when deciding where to work. And we’ve compiled a list of some of the most desired benefits for today’s job seekers:
1. Paid Family Leave
Paid family leave matters. Yet, in the U.S., one in every four moms returns to work just ten days or less after giving birth. This lack of comprehensive leave policies not only impacts the health and happiness of new mothers, but that of their baby and partner. In the U.S., the only federal law guaranteeing maternity leave is unpaid (and doesn’t even apply to all companies) and doesn’t account for secondary or adoptive leave at all.
2. Student Debt Relief
A shocking 70% of college graduates leave university with a significant amount of student debt—an average of over $37,000 to be exact. That means that graduates are not only looking for a good paycheck; they’re looking for an employer that can help dig them out of debt for good. In fact, 48% of job seekers would consider a lower-paying job if the employer offered student loan assistance. Wunderkind, for instance partners with Grafidi, a platform that enables the company to make direct contributions to our employee’s student loans. This benefit helps employees shed the burden and the stress of student debt even faster. Less financially stressed employees are happier employees!
For many, sabbatical sounds like an unachievable goal. Something more apt for a professor than a professional. But sabbaticals for companies encourage innovation and creativity in employees, allowing them to become leaders in their field. Innovation isn’t limited to the office, and successful employees must be allowed to go out, explore and pursue their personal, academic and professional passions. Today, paid sabbatical is a perk offered by only 6% of U.S. companies. They say if you love something, let it go. And this can actually apply to employees, too. Let them leave and learn so they can return and flourish.
4. Employee Resource Groups
67% percent of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is important to them when searching for a new job. But even after the recruiting process ends, employees want companies to walk the walk by implementing programs that foster inclusive environments. Many companies, including Wunderkind, utilize employee resource groups to build diverse communities within the workplace. At Wunderkind, our employee resource groups include organizations like BounceOut, EquALLity, AsianX, Prism, BlackX, AbleX, LatinX and more—each of which focuses on three main pillars: advance the community, develop the people, connect to the business. Through events like happy hours, classes, panels, volunteering, potlucks, networking and speaker series, ERGs drive value for not only employees, but also the wider business and industry.
5. Newlywed & Pawternity Leave
Big life changes can be both exciting and stressful. Two massive examples of this are marriage and pet adoption. In both cases, employees often want and need extra time to adjust (and celebrate). Forcing employees to come right back to work after one of these events can cause unneeded stress, which can affect performance. Give your employees a breather, so they can come back to work ready to hit the ground running.
6. Professional Development
A career is about so much more than just ‘work.’ In fact, 87% of millennials said career and professional development is an important factor in their happiness at their job and that it majorly affects their likelihood of staying at a company. Want to attract and keep your talent? Consider offering career development perks like professional coaching, a stipend for education outside the office, lunch and learns and robust career pathing.
7. Flex/Remote Work
A recent Deloitte study showed that a lack of work flexibility is the most likely reason a millennial would quit their job, yet 57% of organizations lack remote work policies. Many companies blame a lack of face-time for their strict in-office policies, but the ability to work from home can actually increase productivity. Finding the right work/life balance is an important part of a company’s culture. To afford each employee the opportunity to define that balance for themselves, while still maintaining excellent work performance, considering implementing a flexible work from home policy, along with a flex-work schedule policy.
8. Donation Matching & Volunteering
78% of Americans believe companies need to do much more than just make money. They need to give back and positively impact society, too. When job seekers are pursuing new opportunities, they often want to know how a company gets involved in the wider community. A focus on community building is just as important as one on business growth. Companies that offer robust volunteer opportunities and charitable giving matching through companies like BrightFunds are likely to find higher levels of engagement among employees.
Free food and happy hours are fine and good. But they’re not enough to engage, attract and retain employees. When you’re building out your company benefits, think about those that will actually positively affect and influence your employees’ lives.
At Wunderkind, we deeply care about building out our benefits based on the desires of Wunderkinders, which is why we offer all of the above perks and more. From 20 weeks of primary care leave to 8 weeks of sabbatical and 2 days of Pawternity leave, we want to offer employees the best of the best. And we hope the industry follows suit.