Half of UK organisations are spending more on employee benefits in a bid to attract more talent, new research has revealed.
Data from Zest found that 48% of companies have increased investment in benefits in the past 12 months, with more than four in 10 (42%) experiencing difficulties recruiting staff.
The benefits provider discovered that the war for talent has meant more than one in three (36%) employers are worried they can’t keep up with rising salaries offered by competitors, and that they won’t be able to attract or retain talent within their organisations.
However, the survey also showed that employees’ priorities are shifting, with many now placing more value on flexibility and bespoke benefits.
Those struggling to recruit cited demand for flexible work terms as the factor hindering their efforts the most, reported by 48% of respondents. This was closely followed by salary (46%) and demands for better benefits packages (43%).
Matt Russell, CEO at Zest, said: “There’s no doubt that it’s an employees’ market out there right now and more than ever employers need to work to understand candidates’ unique needs in the race to recruit, motivate and retain great talent.
“As candidates demand more flexibility in their working lives, employers must rise to that challenge by offering working arrangements and benefits that are also sufficiently flexible and personalised.
“When it comes to benefits, employers should prioritise packages that can be individually tailored. Even the most cost-effective rewards can be incredibly successful if it effectively meets the needs of employees on a personal level.”
The research further highlighted the importance of benefits in an organisation’s ability to meet changing demands from candidates. While just over half (27%) of employers that have missed out on recruiting talented individuals blame an inability to increase salaries, 43% say this happened because they were unable to offer accessible and comprehensive employee benefits.