For most individuals appraising a job opportunity, a final decision is made based on the bottom line salary available. This mind-set is finally beginning to change, however, as people begin to appreciate the value of additional benefits affiliated with contracts of employment. In an age of minimal pay rises and economic uncertainty, for example, creative employee benefits can add between 20% and 40% on average to your annual salary.

There is another factor at play too, with recent research suggesting that an annual salary of £37,000 ($53,353) often proves to be a tipping point for the typical work-life balance. More specifically, jobs that pay more than this on an annual basis are likely to demand a huge amount of sacrifice, which has creates a work-life imbalance and impacts negatively on our personal relationships.

Retaining and recruiting Talent: How to create an appealing package of employment

Modern job seekers and employees are aware of these trends, and therefore more inclined to consider diverse packages of employment that delve beyond the bottom line salary. This can subsequently prove to be crucial in the retention and recruitment of top industry talent, so consider the following elements as part of a progressive employee contract: –

The Opportunity for Flexible Working

Across the world, there are decidedly different approaches to implementing flexible working directives. While this is mandatory in Sweden and will become a critical feature of British legislation from 2017 onward, it has yet to be promoted at national level in the U.S. Forward-thinking countries are also extending flexible working rights beyond parents, in order to counteract the rising popularity and accessibility of freelancing for employees with marketable skills and experience.

Regardless of your countries national legislation, however, there is nothing to stop your firm promoting flexible working directives and incorporating these as a key benefit of employment. Whether you extend these universally throughout the firm (where possible) or in relation to specific job roles is entirely up to you, so long as you adhere to national employment laws and respect any existing guidelines. You will also need to select a primary method of remote working that suits your firm or a targeted demographic of employers, with options including the offering of a four-day week, job-sharing for entry level roles and traditional telecommuting.

Income Protection

This is a relatively unheralded benefit, primarily because it only offers value in instances of long-term sickness. In general terms, it pays up to 80% of an employee’s salary if you are unable to work for periods of six months or more, whether this is due to illness, long-term injury or disability. In the U.S., this is made available when companies partner with private insurance firms, and while coverage can vary based on the nature of each individual claim it can provide a lifeline to those who are suddenly unable to work.

This is a comforting benefit for employees, and one that is increasingly valuable in an age where global earning are falling short of expectations and dwindling in comparison with the rate of rising inflation. If you do decide to include this benefit in your contracted terms of employment, however, be sure to offer it as full income protection rather than the PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) alternative. This is because the latter only covers a specific bill such as an employee’s mortgage.

Progressive Health Insurance

Last but not least, we come to health insurance. The can include a multitude of features, from sponsored gym membership to dental insurance and full medical coverage. This means that employers must only commit to offering comprehensive health insurance where possible, but they must also select from the most commonly available plans to select an affordable and appealing package for workers. A Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) is the most common option for employers, as this is a balanced plan that covers the cost of primary healthcare while reducing subsidiary expenses for staff members.

The age of the High Deductible Health Plan has also dawned in recent times, especially companies with younger employees. This offers flexibility to companies, particularly technology start-ups that typically consist of graduates and young entrepreneurs, as it provides a high-deductible plan that aligns with a tax-advantaged health savings account. So long as you choose a plan that suits your financial budget and workforce, you can embellish your package of employment without inflating costs.