The Best Incentives to Lure Job-Seekers

What is the best incentive to compete for talent in today’s tight labor market?

This question was posed to talent professionals for their insights. From tuition reimbursement to culture, here’s what they had to say: 

Support Employees in All Aspects of Their Lives

Leadership and HR teams have a history of asking, “How do we make our employees happy at work?” and answering with one-size-fits-all solutions like renovating the break room, bringing in donuts, or other trivial things that are nice but don’t really satisfy what each person actually wants or needs. However, it’s crucial to consider how to make our team happy when they’re not at work. Each person is so much more than their job title, and if we can support them in all aspects of their lives, whether that be through a health and wellness stipend, money toward continuing education, a monthly childcare allowance, etc., we’ll create a healthy, attractive work environment. When you offer a truly great place to work, it makes it that much easier to compete for top talent and retain folks, too. — Amy Spurling, CEO and founder of Compt

Double Down on Your Culture

Benefits, compensation, and perks are improving with every company, so what does that mean for hiring? Double down on your culture. Nowadays, candidates are prioritizing workplaces that are supportive, inclusive, flexible, and exciting. Culture and people are a few things that are proprietary to each company, so companies need to ensure that their mission and purpose are highlighted constantly, while also focusing on their commitment to their people. Cailean Bailey, manager of global talent acquisition, Design Pickle

Enhanced Tuition Reimbursement

One of the most useful incentives to bolster attraction and retention in this tight labor market is education and offering significantly enriched tuition reimbursement programs. Organizations like Walmart, Target, Chipotle, Disney, and Macy’s have expanded their tuition reimbursement programs to more — or in some cases all — employees. They are investing millions of dollars to cover 100% of college tuition expenses. In addition to good wages and strong cultures, employees are now seeking higher levels of commitment to develop and grow their careers over time. Companies that fund college degrees can meet these needs. — Sarah McGowan, HR consultant

Flexible Working Hours and Hybrid Work

To ensure that employees are productive and satisfied with their work/life balance, a remote-work strategy should definitely include the possibility to choose where and when you work. People have very different lifestyles, and it is impossible to accommodate all of them with fixed hours, especially if the employees are located in different time zones. When people are free to control their time and place of work, they are much more efficient and happier about what they do. — Ewelina Melon, ​​chief people and culture officer, Tidio

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Plenty of PTO

We offer employees 19 days of paid time off per year from Day 1, increasing to 24 days after four years of employment. Every job comes with a certain amount of stress, and everyone needs time away to rest and recharge. Add to the mix the challenges that come with managing one’s personal life, family obligations, and dealing with a worldwide pandemic, and one or two weeks of PTO per year is not sufficient. Allowing employees plenty of time off to prioritize their health, care for their families, and do what they love results in increased employee engagement, retention, and talent attraction. — John Feldmann, communications specialist, Insperity

Clear Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Job-seekers in today’s market prioritize working for a company with a diverse workforce and a clear commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Companies that garner the most talent have concrete action plans that go beyond an EEO statement on a company website. For example, we created internal systems and tools that support DE&I initiatives, offer employee resource groups where minority groups can find community, and provide continuing education in the DE&I space to all employees. Rohshann Pilla, recruiting leader, Aquent

Investigate the Needs of a Certain Person

Working at an IT recruitment agency, we face one of the most challenging tasks in recruiting today — hiring tech professionals. To make the vacancy competitive on the market we think not only about general ways about a candidate’s motivation (salary, inspiring project, cool team, etc.) but investigate the needs of a certain person. It can be anything — a desire to work remotely, relocation to another city, working as a team leader for the most part, etc. This means that there is no “best incentive” to use to attract candidates. We build on candidates’ desires and interests and try to satisfy them. Still, the most important task here is to define the candidates’ needs correctly. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing a worthy candidate. Tatiana Melnichuk, managing director, Lucky Hunter

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a knowledge platform that converts expert insights into blogs for brands. He's the author of the book Pursue The Passion and has spoken at various HR conferences over the years about employee-engagement topics. 

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