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Research from Glassdoor revealed that 57% of candidates consider benefits and perks to be a defining factor in their decision to accept a job offer, with a further four in five preferring new or additional benefits to a pay rise.

If you want to attract top talent, improve retention rates and enhance your company culture, offering an attractive benefits and perks package is the way forward. But with the pandemic causing a shift in the way the working world operates and a change in expectations, what do employees really want and how has this impacted the benefits and perks most in demand?

Using research from our own Search Salary & Benefits Guide, we investigated the most desirable benefits and perks for employees in 2021.

What are the most desirable benefits and perks in 2021?

We asked thousands of candidates and clients to rank our list of benefits from the most important to the least important. The most in-demand benefits are:

  • Wellbeing support – 93%

  • Ongoing training – 91%

  • Pensions – 86%

  • Flexible holidays – 85%

  • Flexible working – 81%

  • Income protection – 77%

  • Health assessments – 63%

  • Financial support for further study – 63%

  • Private medical insurance – 62%

  • Private dental – 59%

  • Enhanced maternity / paternity / adoption leave – 56%

  • Travel insurance – 36%

  • Cashback schemes – 34%

  • Childcare voucher schemes – 34%

  • Cycle to work schemes – 26%

  • Season ticket loans – 22%

It comes as no surprise that wellbeing support takes top place in our candidate and client rankings. With the pandemic bringing emphasis to the importance of mental health and wellbeing support over this past year, many employers have invested significantly in ensuring their workforce are supported whilst home working policies have been implemented.

Benefits and perks that improve work-life balance such as flexible holidays and flexible working marked their place firmly on the list as top priority for candidates and clients. In fact, our survey showed that 66% of employees are interested in a fully remote role, with the remaining 34% wanting an office-based/hybrid agreement and encouragingly, 34% of those surveyed are willing to accommodate a hybrid role within their workplace.

Whilst many benefits and perks are expected on this list, this demand for ongoing training as opposed to vouchers and schemes, further demonstrates this shift in attitude. Alongside mental health and wellbeing support, it is likely that benefits which support employee training and development will continue to rise to prominence as employees seek to find progressive businesses that value and invest in their workforce.

Looking to find out more about the most in-demand benefits for employees in your sector? Download a copy of our 2021 Search Salary & Benefits Guide to gain access to the latest insights today.

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