Recruiting: stand out and attract candidates with real salary benefits

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It’s no secret that financial arguments are no longer enough to attract and retain talent. Neither are certain perks – by which I mean the same old “free fruit” or “free coffee” that are (too) often found on job descriptions. 

Today, attracting talent is all about QWL (Quality of Life at Work) – or well-being at work. But what salary benefits should be offered to guarantee candidates a fulfilling work environment? Follow the guide! 

Workplace well-being, definition and issues 

According to the INRS (the French National Institute for Research and Safety for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases), the concept of well-being at work refers to a “general feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment in and through work that goes beyond the absence of health impairment”. 

In other words, being fulfilled at the office necessarily implies feeling accomplished and satisfied by your work – it is not enough to be in good health (physical or mental)!

Often misunderstood, the notion of well-being at work is nevertheless a major issue for companies. According to a study published by Stimulus in 2017, 52% of employees say they are anxious at work, 29% have a high level of depression and 6% are probably in depression. 

The problem: to succeed and grow, a company must be able to count on engaged and productive employees – and therefore, fulfilled and motivated. Taking an interest in their well-being is not really a “little extra” or a “perk”: it is a necessity for the company that wants to remain competitive. 

Do not confuse “comfort” and “well-being 

“Free coffee,” “unlimited fruit,” “access to the company gym,” “yoga classes,” “company daycare”… We’ve all seen one or more of these salary benefits on a job description. Their main limitation? They don’t address the root of the problem: employee fulfillment. Sure, these bonuses bring a certain comfort and allow talents to focus on their work… But they have no real impact on their fulfillment. 

As Vincent Grosjean, head of studies at INRS, explains, certain benefits such as the provision of sports facilities or massages have little impact on well-being at work. The reason? They do not allow us to address psychosocial or hierarchical issues in the company. The definition of tasks, the meaning of work experienced by employees… All these criteria have an impact on the feeling of well-being at work. 

In other words, an employee who is provided with pleasant facilities can work in a certain comfort… Which will have little or no impact on the overall perception of his work (including the feeling of satisfaction and usefulness he perceives from his work). One can be bored at work and suffer from bore-out while enjoying the occasional yoga class, for example. 

Beware of pernicious wage salary benefits 

Some Silicon Valley companies are masters at offering… poisonous benefits. Home cleaning services, childcare assistance, unlimited meals… Everything is done to relieve talents of their daily tasks.

Where does this cause problems? It’s simple: the more we relieve employees of certain “chores” that concern their private lives. The more we encourage them to work more… This creates an imbalance between their professional and personal lives. As a bonus, some benefits such as company daycare necessarily involve mixing the professional and personal spheres.

Salary benefits with real added value

The good news is that any company can offer real benefits to its employees that will have a real impact on their well-being. All it takes is a little common sense – and a genuine concern for their development.

Adopt benevolent management practices  

This is not an advantage in itself, but it is! To feel free to innovate, ask questions and go beyond their limits, talent needs to feel confident. Establishing a corporate culture that allows everyone the right to make mistakes, for example, and cultivates transparency, allows talent to redouble its creativity… And to be fulfilled!

💡 Practicing benevolent management that guarantees employees a certain level of autonomy and encourages initiative-taking promotes a sense of well-being at work. 

Give employees more flexibility 

This word is on everyone’s lips: “flexibility”. Since the appearance of confinements and “forced” telecommuting, employees prefer flexible work organizations more than ever. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Cadremploi, among 208,807 talents from 190 countries (including more than 5,300 in France). According to the survey, 78% of French talents are in favor of a hybrid work model – mixing telecommuting and face-to-face work. 

However, simply offering telecommuting, even partial, is not enough. To allow your teams to work remotely in good conditions, providing a telework allowance is essential – although not legally required.

Some companies go even further by allowing their employees to telework from the location (and country) of their choice. What’s in it for the employees? They are free to organize themselves as they wish. And even to carry out certain personal projects (such as a move to the country). 

💡 According to a LinkedIn study released in July 2021, the rate of departures in 2021 between January and May increased by 38% compared to 2019 in the same period.

Continuously train its employees

Whether online, face-to-face or in a hybrid format, continuous training is a significant competitive advantage. As well as a right for all employees. For the employee, it’s an opportunity to continually upgrade skills. For the employer, it is a way to retain and motivate employees, in addition to ensuring the performance of teams and their ability to adapt to technological changes. 

However, according to a study carried out by Edlfex (a digital professional training solution) in partnership with Madeinvote (a consumer research solution), 1 employee out of 2 is not satisfied with the training offered in his company!

To be effective, the training offer proposed by the company must make sense to employees and be in line with their needs and those of the company. The training offer must also be continuously promoted by the company (with dedicated internal communication campaigns, for example). 

💡 Setting up a GPEC (Gestion Prévisionnelle des Emplois et des Compétences) allows to promote the rise of talents’ skills. This forward-looking tool notably allows to identify the gaps between the company’s skills needs and those it has. To learn more, please read our dedicated article. 

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