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Benefits are a crucial factor to any company’s recruitment and retention strategy.

Hays 2014 Compensation, Benefits, Recruitment and Retention Guide says that when a candidate decides whether or not to accept a job offer, nearly 20% of that decision is based on the benefits that are offered.

More than half of all companies offered extended health benefits, performance-related bonuses, training/certification support, pension/RRSP contribution/matching, 10-plus days of starting vacation and flexible work hours.

These benefits are becoming the new standard of offer in order to attract candidates, particularly in candidate-short markets.

“Interestingly, we have seen an upturn in the perception of the importance of additional incentive-type benefits to help make overall benefits packages more attractive,” the report states. “For example, gym memberships, ability to work from home, access to event tickets, parental benefits, memberships and associations have all increased in perceived impact on recruitment and retention year after year since 2011.”

The oil and gas industry is leading this trend, as some employers in this sector are offering gym memberships and access to season tickets as incentives.

This year, similar to recent years, the benefits considered by employers to have the most profound impact on recruitment and retention are career growth, individual performance-related bonuses and vacation.

Large companies (those with 1,000 employees or more) are offering more extensive benefits packages than small companies (with fewer than 100 employees).

For example, about 67% of large companies match or contribute to employees’ pensions or RRSPs, compared with only 29% of small companies.

To be competitive in recruiting top talent, the report recommends that small companies may want to consider focusing on promoting cost-effective benefits solutions that are important to employees, such as workplace flexibility.

“With Canada’s candidate shortage, benefits have become a significant factor in acquiring companies’ most valuable resources—their people,” the report notes.

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© Copyright 2014 Rogers Publishing Ltd. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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