28 Days Holiday is not a Benefit

BY Scott Millward   |  

Let me say that again.

28 days holiday is not a benefit. So why do you keep putting it on your job ads?

It's the law, ladies and gentlemen. You wouldn't offer statutory sick pay as a benefit. You wouldn't stick maternity pay on a job ad as a benefit. Those things are just legal requirements. No candidate's saying, 'So I get paid if I catch smallpox or get preggers? Where do I sign?'

Well it's no different with statutory annual leave. And if you're listing that as a benefit, I think you're scraping the barrel a bit. And that doesn't look good to potential talent, does it?

Oh and another thing!

You don't need fluff.

Scott, whatever do you mean?

I speak to a lot of employers that panic like a mouse in a cattery when their competitors get an office dog, or introduce 4-day work weeks. And even though they don't want their own pooch because pet hair makes their finance director's eyeballs fall out, or flexible working because they came here in a time machine from 1927, they still try to fill their job ads with fluff.

But if you're dressing up things to make your job more attractive, you're basically sticking a big, rusty prison-shank into your retention figures. Because if a particular benefit isn't that great, doesn't exist, or is unachievable, many of those attracted by it will leave.

And, Y'know what?

I think most employers put too much focus on 'benefits'.

What, so we should bin benefits?

Hell no. But they shouldn't be the focus necessarily. Y'see, we don't find contentment in our job because of a cycle to work scheme. We don't skip gayly to work on a Monday in anticipation of the fresh produce in this week's fruit bowl.

We don't power through the working week to the best of our ability because we can't wait to wear our new corduroy slacks on dress down Friday. These things are nice, but they're not the reason we come to work. More job ads need to focus on the role, the development opportunities, the progression structure, the way in which your company, and the employees within it, have a positive impact on the wider community. Gimmicky benefits are not the reason people apply for jobs.

And, Finally.

If you want to implement benefits, make sure they're actually benefits.

So benefits might not be benefits?

You see, a fruit bowl doesn't really benefit anyone. 28 days holiday doesn't benefit anyone. A cycle to work scheme is a very minor benefit in the grand scheme of things.

Real benefits are things like letting parents leave early to pick up kids. Letting stressed out sales peeps have an extra half an hour for lunch so they can wind down in the gym. Giving people with health conditions remote working options. Those are real benefits that genuinely impact people's lives.

So yeah that's it.

Bye Bye

I said that's it, alright?

So you're probably bored of me now, but hopefully it opened your eyes a little to what is and isn't a benefit when attracting new talent.

It can be easy to get sucked in to trying to be the Google McFacebook workplace of your industry, but don't get it twisted. Many of the 'benefits' you see do not get people to work in the morning. More often than not, they're a PR play. So keep it real, and figure out what will really make your employees happier and more productive.

Peace out.


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