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Is it all about the Salary?

Is it all about the Salary?       

The ball is very much in the candidate’s court at the moment as we are in a candidate driven market, so you may be wondering what you can do to keep current staff engaged and attract new talent?

There once was a time where it was very much all about the salary, candidates went where the money was and even though this is still high on a candidates list, there is so much more to it.

With the ever-changing market, working from home and the increase in the desire to have that work life balance, candidates are looking at the overall package as opposed to what they would take home at the end of the month.

So, what exactly are candidates wanting and view as high or musts on their check list when looking for a new position?

We have asked the question and created a list of what candidates have said are important when looking at their next role.

Number one on the list…… Flexibility!   

Work life balance is key and what was the norm a few years back, working 5 days a week 9-5 has changed, having that flexibility is a must, especially when it comes to the working family.

So what flexibility are they looking for?

Working 4 days a week.

Having school hours or the flexibility to start a bit later or finish early.

Early finish on a Friday.

The flexibility to work from home if they have the technology / capacity to do so.

For the working parent having a company that is understanding when it comes to childcare, such as doing the school run, having time off if the child is poorly or generally being flexible with working around school holidays, school performances is a real must.

If it has been a while since you looked at how the company views flexible working, it may be worth having a look at what your company can do to support your workers.

Company Culture:

That’s second on the list. What is your company culture like? Do you have an open-door policy? Are employees made to feel they can express feelings / ideas and do you offer a friendly working environment?

The last thing you want is an employee that dreads coming in to work, so what can you do to build that team spirit and ensure employees are happy?

Listening is key, try not to micromanage and let employees have the freedom to complete their job knowing they have support if needed.

Create team building exercises, make the office / workspace fun and have a laugh while you work. Yes, get the job done but nobody wants to work in strict environment.

We spend a lot of time with our colleagues so having a team which feels friendly and supportive makes employees enjoy being in work.


Here it is, Salary! Third on the list as being the most important when looking for a new opportunity.

Candidates need to feel they are being paid what they are worth and offering a fair salary for the job is just as important as the other added additional benefits.

There are a number of points that companies can do to make sure they are remaining competitive.

  • Regular bench marking, have a look at what your competitors are paying.
  • Regular salary reviews, if a candidate is doing well then why not show appreciation and offer that pay rise.
  • Bonuses and commission, is this something you could offer employees?

At the end of the day, if an employee feels valued they will go the extra mile and productivity is key with business performance.

Holiday Entitlement

Fourth on the list is Holiday entitlement, a lot of companies are still offering the standard 28 days (Normally 20 days plus 8 bank holidays) holiday, which is the minimal legal entitlement. So, can this be classed as a benefit when you are offering the standard, as let’s face it, legally you have to give this amount to candidates, so where is the added benefit?

While most companies will offer an increase with years of service, perhaps it is worth looking at offering an increased entitlement from the very beginning of the candidate staring work.

Having enhanced holiday, is a must for companies to look into, along with some companies offering the option to also buy or sell additional holiday.

Additional Benefits:

We have also listed some additional benefits below which may make the package a little sweeter for your employees.

  • Enhanced pension contributions.
  • Health Insurance / Free Gym membership.
  • Discounts on products / vouchers / money off on the high street / perk box.
  • Rewards for service / performance such as money, holiday vouchers etc.
  • Training and Development.
  • Enhancing skills and qualifications with paid courses.

So, whilst salary is an important factor when a candidates employee looks at another job or is considering leaving, Employers need to be looking at the whole benefit package.