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Speaking with candidates and clients on a daily basis, we know simply offering a competitive salary is barely enough to attract top talent anymore. It’s now become increasingly popular for employers to throw in a variety of perks and benefits into a comprehensive package alongside the salary, with the hope of attracting more candidates. 

In a 2019 survey by Employee Benefits, 78% of employees considered the benefits package to play a key part in their decision making process when contemplating a new job. Offering benefits that actually help employees also highlights that fact that a company cares about its staff members and promotes a company culture that appreciates the workers. Therefore, employee benefits are key to both recruitment and staff retention.  

So, what makes a job seeker excited to hit that apply button in a job advertHere, we take a look into the most sought-after benefits that candidates are drawn to in the current job market.  


Flexible working became the norm due to Covid-19, but was already a benefit many employees were seeking prior the outbreak of the virus. Only now have employers and employees alike realised that this new way of working caters so well to their needs that it’s here to stay.  

A recent survey shows that offering flexible work schedule is now an important factor for many job huntersContrary to the traditional assumption, employees usually find flexibility helpful in improving their productivity and loyalty to the employerespecially when it’s made easier for them to juggle work and family life. Most of those who participated in the survey revealed that flexibility could make a significant difference to their work, and nearly 15% of them were actively looking for a career move that would offer such a benefit.  

According to research done by AVIVA, a good work-life balance tops the benefits chart alongside salary, being the number one benefit that candidates seek within a new job.  

Healthcare and Wellbeing 

On the flip side of the new lifestyle resulting from the pandemic, is a higher risk of mental health issues and compromised physical wellbeing due to a lack of options for exercise or socialising. This has led to more job seekers taking healthcare benefits into consideration when applying for a vacancy.  

According to Drewberry Consultancy, private healthcare insurance is one of the most important benefits a company can provide for its employees, especially when the NHS is under increased strain.   

Pippa Andrews, director corporate at VitalityHealth, stated,“Healthier employees are happier, more engaged and therefore more productive, a key component to both business resilience and business success.” So, it’s great to see that 90% of employers recognise the importance of supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees by offering tailored resources as part of their benefits package.  

Career Development Opportunities 

Career progression is among the most common reasons for aemployee to look for their next moveSeeing that one’s role has a clear path for growth makes a significant contribution to satisfaction at work.  

This is a factor that can largely affect both talent attraction and staff retention. AVIVA’s research suggests that career progression is among the top 5 benefits candidates look for when seeking a career move; in fact, 17% of those surveyed said they would leave their job if they felt this wasn’t offered to them 

Office Perks 

These can be small things that cost very little but make a workplace more appealingAccording to Reedover half of their survey respondents said perks made them feel happier at work; 1 in 6 people would even take a pay cut in exchange fobetter perks.  

Office perkslike free tea and coffee or weekly breakfasts, are not just about offering food and drinks as an incentive. These small gestures can also be seen as a statement of a sociable culture within a company, where colleagues are encouraged to talk to each other while making a brew. Seasonal perks, like free ice creams, cold drinks and early finishes during the summer have become especially popular  with 50% of the respondents considering this a big incentive.  

Offering perks through employee competition or games is also a good idea. For instance, at Carrot we recently organised a fitness month where staff members tracked their daily exercise in an attempt to win an early finish at the end of the week. Again, such activities not only speak of a company’s culture that values team building, but it also motivates employees and shows that their health and wellbeing is of paramount importance.  


As an employee, if you feel some of your needs haven’t been met due to a lack of certain benefits, it's a good time to raise these with your employer. Chances are, with a positive shift in the recognition of the importance of employee wellbeing, what previously felt like a big ask may have become a popular benefit to be included in a salary package. And by improving their benefits offering, companies will quickly see an increase in demand for people looking to join their organisation 

Our strategic Market Insights projects can provide you with key market intelligence to help you attract and retain top talent better. For more information, please contact Martin Anderson at Carrot Executive on 01625 541 032 or via martin@carrotpharma.co.uk 

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