More than Salary: How to Bring in Better Candidates

January 25, 2022
Leila Spann
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Companies need to ensure equal and quality pay, while also acknowledging that candidates are receiving competitive benefits packages and welcoming company culture from many potential employers. To stand out your organization needs to constantly evaluate your retention strategies, company culture, and marketplace competitors. The needs of employees are shifting, and recruiters that acknowledge and adjust to these needs can attract better candidates. By expanding their employment benefits, companies can improve candidate experience and retention. 

Money Matters 

While many candidates are seeking a  better work/life balance, higher pay has by no means moved to the back burner. Salary and hourly pay are still large decision-makers as candidates accept job opportunities. Candidates are also paying attention to equal and equitable pay for all employees, not just themselves. 

Today there is sadly still a well-documented pay gap for women and BIPOC folks. In 2021, there was a considerable pay gap between men and women. Over half of accounting positions are filled by women, yet women earn 80 cents for every dollar that men earn. This gap is prevalent with women with high education levels too, as women with master's degrees earn 29% less than men with advanced degrees. 

People of color also experience this wage discrepancy. For every dollar a white man earns, Black men earn 87 cents and Hispanic men earn 91 cents. This wage gap is even wider for Black women at 63 cents for every dollar a white man makes

More candidates are considering these wage gaps, and are likely to choose a position that guarantees equal pay. Companies need to prioritize equal pay and can show their plan for eliminating the wage gap in their Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement. 

Business Insider notes that 47% of people currently employed would consider switching to a new position for higher pay. While employers must increase pay and decrease their wage gap to improve retention, improving the candidate experience is more than offering a good salary. A positive candidate and employee experience also stems from holistic benefits and helping an employee feel valued. 

Time is the best perk you can offer.

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Benefits That Make a Difference 

Money is no longer the biggest motivator for potential candidates. Instead, candidates are more likely to consider job opportunities with flexibility, upward mobility, support from supervisors, open communication, and ample benefits. Candidates want to know that they will be appreciated, understood, and heard by their employers. 

Employers can actively show their appreciation for their team by offering perks beyond the basic benefits. While job hunters need basic medical benefits, they do not show how your company values its employees. Job positions that offer tuition reimbursements, childcare, parental leave, or a work from a home stipend, are all highly valuable to candidates and show a commitment to their wellbeing.

These retention efforts show that your company cares for your employees and that you value their life outside of their work productivity. Benefits that support tuition, childcare, and financial needs make a significant impact on a candidate's life. Candidates from the millennial generation and Gen Z will highly value tuition benefits, as 12.8 million millennials have student loan debt. Along with this, Gen Z’s student loan debt increased by 39% in 2021. 

Many brands recognize this high demand for holistic support, such as Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber. These companies are trendsetters in providing college tuition support, causing more  brands to take their cue to offer tuition support, or pay off existing student debt. Target provides debt-free education assistance to 340,000 frontline employees, no matter their full-time or part-time status. Target’s program provides English language training and even master's degrees programs to employees that qualify. Not only does Target recognize the need for educational support, but they also provide flexibility in their medical benefits with virtual doctor visits, and online resources to support mental health. 

Many brands updated their benefits programs to provide more support in 2021, and your company can be the next to follow suit. A holistic benefit program will show your employees and future candidates that you appreciate their hard work, and you value their time.

Show Candidates How You Stand Out

Potential candidates look for more than a pay rate when searching for jobs, and new employees need more than sufficient pay to stay in their new position. Not only must you show potential candidates how you stand apart from the crowd, but you have to improve your onboarding process to increase retention. 

Positions with poor benefits lead 42% of employees to consider leaving their positions. Along with this, 55% of employees have carried out this consideration and found positions with expansive benefits. Employers can no longer rely on high salaries to retain employees, and 87% of HR leaders see employee retention as a primary concern.

While recruiters are trying to attract the best candidates, HR teams are also searching for ways to hold onto top talent. It was found that 1,000 Americans weren’t even in a position for 6 months before quitting. These employees most often quit because of a poor onboarding experience. When new employees aren’t trained properly or have poor leadership, they are more likely to search for a new position. 

As companies focus on attracting new candidates, they also need to value their recent employees as they join the team. Around 22% of turnover is caused by insufficient training or feeling unappreciated. Employees want to know you care about them as a person. Candidates want to be valued for more than the profit they produce.

You can show appreciation by: 

  • Expanding your benefits
  • Meeting individual needs
  • Upgrading your onboarding process

Stand out from your competitors by showing candidates that you value their time in your interview process. If your interview process both saves a candidate time and provides more flexibility, you have already made a wonderful first impression. With Qualifi’s on-demand interviews, candidates can interview on their own time and recruiters no longer have to spend time scheduling individual interviews. 

Want to see how Qualifi works with your recruitment team?