It’s About More Than Money

The most important ingredients of a “package” offered a candidate to attract him or her to a company are, first and foremost, the position itself and, then, salary and bonuses. But multitudes of other factors – benefits and “perks” – do come into play. In fact, faced with one or more “equal” offers, candidates may be swayed by perquisites that appeal to their self-esteem as much as to their pocketbooks.

Plumping the package

OPUS International’s experience proves that companies that offer “just a little bit more” in a relocation package attract the most desirable candidates.

If your company doesn’t provide for at least one house-hunting trip, for example, you might experiment with offering that opportunity to your next hiree, even if the person is a single renter. Cost to you is small, but you’ve taken a giant step in making your new employee feel important to the team.

Temporary housing assistance is another area in which a small outlay from a company can score big points with a candidate. The industry standard is currently thirty days for a renter and ninety days for a homeowner, but a certain amount of flexibility should be allowed in special circumstances.

Granted, only the largest companies are able to offer substantial housing assistance such as a guaranteed buy-out. But how about helping a renter negotiate out of lease, or paying realtors’ commissions and points for a new-home purchase?

Candidates, even those in entry-level positions and who possess little realize that moving is a costly business. So over and above paying for the household goods move, extra money for “incidentals” is always appreciated. Even if your company is only able to offer $1,000, that sum buys much more than 1k worth of good feeling.

Sweetening the pot

No consideration of financial matters is complete without mention of the sign-on bonus. Once a “perk” reserved for top managers, sign-ons are now almost ubiquitous. They’re an acceptable way to offer more dollars to a candidate without skewing salary bands, and they can be negotiated several times, if necessary, to up the ante for a hard-to-get candidate.

Other incentives once reserved for managers – profit sharing and savings plans such as 401k’s – might be considered (even if in a scaled-down version) to cover all employees.

Include new hires in your health and life insurance plans as of their first day of employment. If doing so is legally impossible, pick up the tab for their COBRA until they qualify for your plan.

Financial assistance with job-related graduate studies is a tremendous perk. Tuition reimbursement does more than attract serious, highly motivated candidates. It’s a great loyalty builder among employees, as well.

Icing the cake

It’s always advisable to offer candidates a few hours to look around your geographic area when they visit for a first interview. Provide a local realtor or trusted employee as a “tour guide.” If an overnight is involved, be sure that a potential colleague is tapped to serve as dinner host.

On a second interview when, ideally, the spouse is included, host a small cocktail party for department members. If the spouse feels welcome, your company now has an ally in persuading the candidate to accept – and the spouse has gained invaluable insight into quality of life issues such as personal employment opportunities, schools, and social activities.

Whether you’re a candidate or a client, we’d love to hear from you!