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What kind of benefits should I expect from an employer?

Published 23rd Feb 2023

Gone are the days when candidates would accept the bare minimum in terms of employee benefits. Once upon a time, we were told that an above-average salary, sufficient annual leave and a pension contribution should be at the top of our priority list when looking for a new role.

But it’s 2023, and things look significantly different.

In the post-pandemic world we are living in, following the Great Resignation and the shift in careers for so many people throughout the UK, candidates’ priorities have changed. Employers are aware of the fact that it’s a candidate-led market and they need to offer everything candidates require, with some additional extras, if they want to secure the top talent.

You’ll no longer attract the best candidates to come and work at your business by only offering ‘benefits’ such as:

  • Free tea and coffee
  • Pool tables, PS5s and ping pong in the office
  • Company social events
  • Dress-down Fridays
  • 23 days’ holiday
  • A pension contribution

So, what kind of benefits should candidates expect from an employer when looking for a new job?

Hybrid/remote working

Of course, hybrid and remote working is only an option in certain professions. For example, if you are working in-store for a retail company, it’s unlikely that you’ll be given the option to work from home given the in-person responsibilities of the role.

However, in a lot of industries now, hybrid and/or remote work is possible, given that so many employees are able to work from their desktops. And, as lockdowns across the world proved – many people are just as capable doing their jobs from home as they are in the office. 

Hybrid and remote working allow employees the flexibility to work whilst also dealing with responsibilities at home, hence it being such a sought-after benefit in 2023. 

Flexible hours

Similarly, flexible hours are now just as expected as hybrid and remote working for many jobseekers. Again, this depends on the industry or sector you are working in – if you do shift work, this might not be as accessible as those in a regular 9-5 job.

However, for those working anywhere between the hours of 8am and 6pm, it is generally expected now that employees are able to manage their workloads around flexible hours of working. If they have to finish early to pick children up from school, or start later due to a hospital appointment, employees now expect employers to be completely on board with these requirements.

Mental health support

Thankfully, many employers now are seeing the full circle benefits of investing in their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Given that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from some form of mental health problem each year, it’s in every employers’ best interests to support their employees both in and out of work.

Many employers are now offering ‘wellness packages’ as part of their employee benefits, including perks such as monthly therapy, gym memberships, yoga classes, nutrition support and an allotted number of mental health days per year. The goal is for employers to truly see the importance of a healthy mind and body for all of their people, and how this will improve their productivity and performance at work as a result.

Training and career development

For many employees in the UK in sectors such as marketing, finance, retail, HR and manufacturing, the one thing employees are looking for during their job hunt is the opportunity to further develop their careers. This doesn’t just mean they want a step up in their next role – they also want to be provided with training, skills and equipment that will enable them to progress in the future.

If you are currently looking for a new role, and a company you are interviewing with isn’t offering training or a career development plan as part of your benefits package, consider whether this will be the best opportunity for you in the long-term. If you aren’t able to upskill and be promoted in the future, is this the right job for you?

Enhanced parental leave

One key benefit many jobseekers are looking for as a standard is enhanced parental leave. Many employers are now offering enhanced parental leave, in the form of paying their employees more than statutory maternity or paternity pay. 

In the UK, an increasing number of employers have been offering enhanced maternity leave for some time now – but, thankfully, many organisations are also reviewing and updating their paternity leave policies, too. Statutory paternity pay is for up to two weeks, but many candidates now are looking for employers offering a minimum of one month’s paternity leave. 

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McCarthy Recruitment can help you find the perfect role based on your career aspirations, personal requirements and previous experience. Get in touch with our expert recruiters today and let us help you find your ideal job.

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