Would your company offer unlimited time off?

Best way to attract or retain the best people? Employee benefits would be a good place to start

After salary, employee benefits are likely to be the first thing a prospective employee will look at when deciding whether to take a new job at a new company. They may be lucky enough to have two or more offers to work to choose between – in which case the benefits offered will be a factor in the decision-making process.

Alternatively, a business may already have a sufficient number of skilled, hard-working and dedicated employees and be looking at how best to retain staff.

Either way, if you’re wondering how best to attract or retain the best people, employee benefits would be a good place to start.

When asked which benefit companies should look to offer, more than 70% of human resources professionals and more than 2,600 workers said unlimited paid leave would be an attractive proposition, according to a study of US staff benefits by Metropolitan Life.

Large technology-based companies that attract younger workers, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and DropBox, offer this type of benefit, but smaller and medium-sized companies are less enthusiastic about offering such a scheme.

While unlimited paid leave may seem like a win for the employee and a bad choice for the employer, that is not the case.

Indeed, some early adopters of the benefit found that rather than taking excessive amounts of paid leave, employees were more likely to do the opposite for fear of taking advantage of such a generous benefit.

This in turn had a negative effect on both employee and employer, with staff members failing to take a well-earned break from work, while employers were left with over-worked staff, which has a negative effect on productivity.

If you would like to offer a paid leave benefit that is attractive to your employees, then paid flexible leave could be the ideal solution.

Your company could offer a range of paid days of leave, such as 15 to 25 days a year, which the employee could choose to use however they wish. If you ensure the paid leave does not continue over to the next year, employees will take the leave they are entitled to, which will benefit both the employer and employee.

As well as focusing on offering the right paid leave for employees, an employer should also ensure that staff members enjoy their working environment. By offering a friendly and relaxed working environment, along with benefits such as gym membership, companies will create a workplace where employees enjoy working. This makes paid leave an added bonus.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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