How Employee Benefits Reflect Employer Value Proposition?

Volodymyr Bilyk
01 July 2021

Employee benefits have been a staple of employee compensation packages in the IT industry for a long time. You can find them in every vacant position description as the obligatory block of “flexible work schedule,” “corporate education,” “language courses,” “hybrid remote\office work mode,” “insurance,” “stock options,” and the likes.

Despite all that, companies, employees, and candidates have rather vague of what employee benefits mean and what is its actual value.

Because of that, you get all the cookie-cutter, as mentioned earlier, copy-pasted descriptions that don’t mean anything. 

That’s baffling because employee benefits can be a powerful tool in presenting the company as a worthwhile employer if done right. In this article, we will explain how.

Employee Benefits as Seen by an Employer

employee benefits employer

From the employer’s point of view, employee benefits are a tool for attraction and engagement. Its main goal is to engage with candidates and retain employees. 

  • In both cases, the benefits play a role in the supplementary argument. 
  • It influences the decision of the employees to stay or candidates to accept the offer. 

The difference is in the presentation of the employee benefits for different audience segments.

  • In the case of engaging candidates – benefits play the role of the value-added supplement that increases that’s intriguing enough to maintain the engagement—for example, covering the certification expenses or investing the employee upskilling. 
    • Here’s how it works – the particular benefit emphasizes its practical value to the candidate. As a result, it fuels the overall job offer value in the candidate’s eyes. 
    • Fine-tuned presentation of employee benefits can lead to an additional conversation topic during the interview.
  • In the case of employee retention – it is all about the practical, tangible benefits. For example, such benefits as flexible work schedule, remote work, the allotted time for personal projects, bonuses, stock options, etc. 
    • The goal is to boost employee motivation and maintain their productivity by keeping their employee experience fulfilling. 

However, it is crucial to communicate the employee benefits value from the candidate’s or employee’s points of view. And that might be quite a challenge. (You can read more about it in the following two sections).

  • On the one hand, a lack of focus on the benefits is a wasted opportunity for the company.
  • On the other hand, overemphasizing the benefits can scare off the candidate. 

Employee Benefits as Seen by an Employee

Here’s the thing you need to keep in mind – employee benefits are never a decisive factor in the career-related decision-making process. It is a weighty pro argument, but it never goes over such things as salary and interest for the project. 

From the employee’s point of view – benefits are a tangible representation of how the company creates an involving and productive work environment and, as a result, perpetuates loyalty. 

Let’s look at different types of employee benefits:

  • Career development benefits – such as a personal development plan (aka career development plan), upskilling, knowledge sharing, financial education, or personal projects time represent the company’s effort to give its employee a way to grow within the company and feel fulfilled.
  • On the other, monetary benefits (such as performance bonuses or milestone rewards) showcase the company giving the credit where the credit is due. Then there are stock options benefits that represent the company’s rewarding loyalty and high performance. 
  • Recreational benefits (such as vacation, holidays, gym subscription, corporate psychologist, team building events, etc.) showcase the company’s social responsibility and care for the employee’s well-being.

Employee Benefits as Seen by the Candidate

The candidate’s point of view on employee benefits is rather interesting to explore from the marketing standpoint. It is an example of the “perception is reality” type of presentation. 

The thing is – candidates have a very limited view of the company. So even if they do the research, they still rely on the presentation in various materials. 

In a way, it is both an advantage and a challenge for the companies. They need to sell that particular aspect to the candidates but not oversell so that it reverses the impression. 

  • Candidates consider employee benefits as one of the comparative points between their current employer and possible future employer. 
  • The perception of the specific benefit greatly depends on how its value showcase in text and during the interviews. 
  • As a result, cookie-cutter copy-pasted nondescript definitions of benefits get the banner blindness treatment and, for the most part, are ignored by the candidate.
  • In contrast, if the company applies exaggerated and flowery descriptions of the benefits – it might cause doubts regarding their authenticity. That may backfire on the company’s overall presentation during the recruitment process. 
  • Because of that, it is crucial to maintain a balance and present just enough information to make a distinct impression that can lead to benefits becoming a conversation topic further down the line during the interviews. In essence, that’s what the recruiter aims for. 

While well-mannered candidates will do some research regarding the com, it is important to note that their focus is rarely on employee benefits. The possible exceptions are extraordinary instances of employee benefits, such as Google’s 20% Project.

How do Employee Benefits Mirror the Employer’s Value Proposition?

what are employee benefits

As you can see, these three points of view showcase different aspects of one thing – the employer’s value proposition. 

  • Employer’s value proposition – is the ecosystem representing the company’s mission, vision, and values. EVP defines the ways the company supports and recognizes its employees. In a way, it is what the company is doing to let their employee realize their potential. 
  • Employee benefits are one of the ways companies realize their employer value proposition. 
  • Because of that, benefits serve as some sort of conduit to communicate EVP-related messages. That’s how it “sells” the company to the candidate.

Here’s how different types of employee benefits realize an employer’s value proposition:

  • Monetary benefits (all sorts of bonuses, stock options, etc.) showcase how the company appreciates the efforts, high performance, and loyalty.
  • Recreational benefits (vacation, day-off, team building events, etc.) showcase how the company bonds the collective and keeps it whole. It also communicates the company’s responsibility in maintaining employee’s well-being and work-life balance. 
  • Career development benefits (personal development plan, upskilling, etc.) present how the company invests in employees and provides opportunities for growth and self-realization. In addition, it is a way of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and its employees. 

In conclusion

Employee benefits are an essential part of an employer’s value proposition. When done right – it is one of the beacons attracting new potential employees and a foundation for mutually beneficial employer-employee relationships.

If you need help determining how competitive your employee benefits package or want to optimize your employer branding presentation, drop us a line. Our consultant can help you out.