Read any job listing on Indeed. See any common phrases?
“Positive company culture.” “Great 401(k).” “Free lunch!”
While the benefits may seem stale or expected (always aim for an employer-matched retirement plan!), these listings all share a common, though surprisingly overlooked secret: benefits.
The thing that sets companies apart, from a hiring perspective, is not the role, nor the responsibilities, expectations, and growth potential. Instead, the unique benefits offered to candidates often make for the deciding factor in taking a role. While salary and future can sway a top performer, they will never be happy in the role without the right benefits, leaving far sooner than expected.
Every business has its own set of benefits that it may not even keep in mind when attempting to attract new talent. These benefits go far beyond the typical “medical, vision, and dental” package or a 401(k). Instead, the benefits that actually sway a candidate deal more in the day-to-day life of the role, the office, infrastructure, equipment, and culture that drive the firm.
In this respect, startups often have the best examples of the benefits that candidates are really looking for in their new role. Every office has its own culture, design, look and feel, and technology driving it. Firms will spend millions on locating the right office, specifically to encourage this culture and attract candidates. Likely, you already had this in mind when designing your business.
Take inventory of the little things that differentiate your firm and make you stand out. If you work out of a sun-drenched, exposed brick office, with an open setup and plenty of full sized monitors and the latest iMacs, you are instantly more appealing as a firm than a similar company in cubicles deep in an office tower. Likewise, if you focus on employee and team building as a core tenet of success, rather than only numbers and margins, you demonstrate a level of care for employees that can appeal to high quality candidates. Every firm has these benefits, in some range, and highlighting even the small ones can weave a successful story.