Recruiting Decoded: 5 things that beat a raise

by Ryan Gardner | Nov 28, 2016

When recruiting, whether you’re looking for a a genius developer or sought after operations star, salary isn’t always the deal-making factor.

Here are 5 candidate-winning company offerings that can help your recruiting team win this recruiting season.


According to Gallup data, the number of Americans who telework has quadrupled in the last 20 years. This “company perk” may scare some managers, but for companies who offer the benefit, the recruiting payoff could be big.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, two-thirds of Americans want to telework and 36 percent view the benefit as more important than a raise. In high competition recruiting, a dial-me-in day/benefit could be the deal maker needed to win or keep top talent.


Another way to win without upping your salary spend is to offer creative ways to ease the candidate commute. Global Workplace Analytics data says that commutes are getting worse for more than half of Americans. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau data shows conservative estimates that commute time has gotten 20 percent longer over the last 30 years for the average worker.

To help with commute woes and win talent, Best Workplaces says there are a number of things employers can do. Companies who earn the Best Workplace designation are required to offer one of number of benefits, but most center around the guidelines of offering

  • $30 or more in commuter assistance each month
  • Availability to all employees

The most popular alternative commuter benefits include:

  • Carshare memberships
  • Bicycle expense help
  • Ride-sharing/pooling assistance (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Fasten)

For today’s prospective employees, an employer’s benefits package is first place they look

when comparing equal offers. There, they expect to find standard offerings like health insurance and a 401k plan, but more and more companies are offering high-impact life benefits to help win candidates.

Here are a few hot offerings that are getting more traction since they appeared on the Forbes Best Place to Work list in 2015:

  • Student Loan Benefits – Payment help and counseling for those with student loans
  • Volunteer Days Off – Paid time off to contribute to a community effort
  • Alignments & Adjustments – Massages, chiropractic, and other services offered by companies like Cisco
  • Private concierge service

Employee Benefits Research Institute data from 2015 shows that health insurance is still the most important employee benefit. However, today more candidates are counting the actual cost as the impact of healthcare policy changes continue to impact the market.

Independent researcher The Commonwealth Fund reported that since 2006, health insurance costs have progressively consumed a greater share of employee income. This cost, in some areas, has jumped more than 10 percent.

When it comes to alternatives to a raise, health benefit costs are a serious opportunity for companies to standout.


Whether you’re trying to win or keep an employee, nothing beats the real bottom line. Offering niche benefits and raises is a great way to start a conversation, but at the end of the day sharing and easy-to-digest breakdown of an employee’s total compensation could be a potential win.

Small Business Administration data shows that “$2,000 wage increase only nets $1,500 after income tax (even less when the employee’s share of FICA is factored in).”

Showing the real breakdown of data around the value of working for your company, could be your best win.


We mentioned them briefly above, but 2016 data from Beyond shows that 89 percent of job seekers say a student loan benefit should be a part of a competitive benefits package. For data on how student loan benefits can help your company, contact us below.


by Ryan Gardner | Nov 28, 2016

by Ryan Gardner | Nov 28, 2016

by Ryan Gardner | Nov 28, 2016