The power of reward and recognition schemes

We all know that in an increasingly competitive candidate market that standing out from the crowd is important. What were once classed as real differentiators by employees are now expected items. Things like laptops, uncapped bonuses, mobile phones, company cars and the like are often standard offerings now. So, how can a recruitment agency employer stand out?

We’re seeing more businesses turn to more exotic reward and recognition schemes to attract and retain the right candidates. By exotic, we’re not just talking about holidays to far flung climes – although that is certainly the case for many recruiters these days. In fact, target-driven trips to foreign destinations is one of those reward mechanisms that can be critical in convincing a candidate to choose between two roles and companies. And that’s precisely what a differentiator should do. They help people make decisions when the choices are very similar.

So what other rewards are we seeing offered? Cash bonuses are part of the job now, so these rarely crop up as differentiators. But spa days, expenses paid nights out, restaurants and team building activities, are all readily appreciated by employees. Even simple things like having a stocked fridge of soft/fizzy drinks, or an Xbox in the team’s break-out room, can be a big thing to some.

And all of these rewards can also be an insight into the culture of a business. So, when salaries, bonus schemes and career path options are similar, choosing between an employer can come down to those perceived cultural differences. Does a candidate want a rigid structure, or do they want to be in a more relaxed environment, for instance? Would having a pool table, pinball machine or table tennis table in the office make a difference?

The advantage of these reward schemes, beyond differentiating between similar employers, is that for the employer it’s also a good retention tool for existing employees. It’s not only a simple thank you but can also be a way to be more inclusive with all employees, not just the ones that top the league tables as top billers. Obviously you can define the success you want to reward and provide different levels of rewards, but the simple act of having the schemes can be hugely beneficial for companies.

So whether you’re recruiting for new team members or looking to retain that top talent, it pays to think more broadly than just the basic rewards. You don’t want to be the business that loses that key employee, so think creatively and consider those options that help your business stand out. The team at Harrison Sands work with a range of recruitment organisations throughout the UK so have a good understanding of the various rewards and benefits recruiters are being offered. If you want to discuss your benefit options or explore how we can help define that winning package, then don’t hesitate in getting in touch with us today.