You can have all the free coffee in the world, but if you aren’t offering the types of benefits employees are really looking for, you will lose them to the competition quickly. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“What’s one company perk or benefit you are offering that has actually been influential to attract top talent and is the reason why recent hires chose your offer over another?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. Remote Work Environment
“Using a combination of cloud-collaborative tools, our employees can work from any place in the world. A combination of Podio, Skype, Join.me, Google Drive and Hangouts allows us to organize project and task management, while everyone can work from the comfort of home. Sporadic team meetings solidify the team environment and collaborative aspect. Freedom and flexibility are great perks!” ~ Marcela DeVivo, National Debt Relief
2. Paid Health Insurance For Employees and Their Loved Ones
“We not only offer health insurance, but pay for the health insurance of our employees and their families. A recent hire said that it gave her piece of mind and meant a great deal that we not only said that her health is important, but put our money where our heart is by making sure she and those she cares about are covered.” ~ Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC
3. Meaningful Projects
“We are focused on making an impact. We choose customers that we can help in the biggest way and take it very seriously. We work on internal projects that could help find a cure for cancer. Our recent hires want to be a part of that type of culture.” ~ Thomas Cullen, LaunchPad Lab
4. Coolness Factor
“In a less-competitive business locale, people are happy to work for a cool and growing business, especially when they feel as if they are part of a group really making a difference in the world. We receive numerous awards and land major press. AcousticSheep employees are able to routinely brag to family and friends about their really great company, especially when they show up on TV.” ~ Wei-Shin Lai, AcousticSheep LLC
5. Reimbursement for Professional Events
“If you want to attend a conference or join a networking group, we’ll reimburse you. We respect people who want to enhance their skills and realize that it gives our employee and company a competitive edge.” ~ Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz Media
6. Work Abroad Days and Travel Assistance
“My company offers five ‘work abroad’ days every year, which means that the employee can do their work from anywhere in the world. In addition to that, we offer to pay 25 percent of their airfare for international travel. This is really appealing to go-getters who want to explore the world, and those are the type of people I want at my company.” ~ Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf
7. Effective and Fun Training
“We have a very strong training program that is both very effective and fun for new hires. We offer one week of classroom training, followed by shadowing with the top recruiter.” ~ Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing
8. Ability to Have an Impactful Voice
“Employees at goBRANDgo! are given lots of perks (unlimited PTO, flex time, retreats, catered lunches, etc.), but none of them are as valuable as the ability to influence positive change on how their role and the company as a whole is executed. The promise of autonomy and having an impactful voice is a magnet for employees who are entrepreneurially-minded.” ~ Derek Weber, goBRANDgo!
9. Flexibility and Food
“We provide a flexible setting as we know our hires are highly motivated and self-driven and don’t need constraints such as a 9-to-5 workweek to produce quality work. Additionally, the great location in San Francisco and free lunches are certainly added benefits that the employees thoroughly enjoy.” ~ Sathvik Tantry, FormSwift
10. An Excellent Company Culture
“Besides traditional benefits and perks, a big reason employees chose my company is because of our culture. I make sure to let potential employees know that we will value them for their diversity and individuality, and prize them for their unique skills while allowing them to flourish. This attracts happy and motivated employees who are interested in more than a paycheck.” ~ Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
11. An All-Star Social Committee
“Despite being a relatively small team, we have formed a social committee to organize company wide events. These have included sporting events, BBQs, axe-throwing, scavenger hunts and charitable events. The fact that a group is organizing these events demonstrates our commitment to extracurricular activities which is reassuring to a candidate.” ~ David Ciccarelli, Voices.com
Roulette Photo via Shutterstock
I have to agree about the health benefits. I know some people who stay at the job just because of it. If their job can save their loved ones’ life. then they are more likely to stay.
Also, I have to point out that out of all of these, we only lack the travel abroad benefits. I guess that is something that we have to work on.
Companies like Google and Riot do have some of these perks. From the coolness factor to effective and fun training. That’s why they are more ideal to work with and is really promising. One of the challenges when working for these companies are the amount of pressure and work you have to deal with. But it’s all worth it when given these cool perks.
I’ve also found that creating a positive culture helped me to secure top talent. To create an excellent company culture we worked on our Core Values as a team and have them hanging in our office in plain view. We refer to them at meetings, strategy retreats, and at reviews (Be creative risk-takers/Keep growing/Celebrate our achievements/Unpack our mistakes/Keep it balanced) Some of the things we do that fall into this culture category include checking in with staff regularly about what will make our company a great place to work (i.e. people want to go to yoga!), regular staff lunches to celebrate achievements from the previous quarter (deli lunch if we missed the targets, sushi lunch if we hit it), engaging in professional development as a staff (bringing in guest speakers, having learning brown bag lunches), going on a half day retreat twice a year and our annual summer outing to a 3D movie with our kids.
OK. Now could you please adapt this list to reflect the cultural standards for a more competitive state? My state seems to think that all that matters is low taxes and fewer democrats.
Awesome points. I wonder how many companies grade well on all these points.
It depends on the perks. Some employees are more interested in career growth.
I think that top talents have their reasons for staying at a particular company. Some stay for learning, others for comfort.
Yes. Top talent need something more than a stable job and salary. They need something more. If you can offer that, then they will choose you.