13 Dec 2022

How can HR make their company stand out from the crowd?

It’s not always pay that attracts people to a company. According to new data from Glassdoor more than half of UK workers prioritise work/life balance when job hunting[i]. This isn’t surprising given that they also found employee discussions around burnout, overwork and mental health are continuing to increase.


Glassdoor also revealed the top 20 companies’ employees say are the best for work/life balance in the UK with the Office for National Statistics, Heron Foods and Fidelity International topping the list. It’s clear that work/life balance is something employees value, so what can companies do to ensure they are an employer of choice?


One thing is to introduce flexible working (hybrid, part-time, flexi-hours etc) and make sure this is shown on recruitment adverts so prospective candidates know this is an option.


A report this year by PrOPEL and Strathclyde Business School found that 82% of employees want more flexibility to enhance their work life balance (compared to 65% pre-pandemic) and 48% said more flexibility would be beneficial to their wellbeing[ii].


The pandemic accelerated flexible working practices in the workplace and many more companies offer it in the form of hybrid working. Companies who have been slow to embrace this trend may need to have a re-think and look at ways it can work if they want to attract the right people.


For companies looking to introduce flexible working then HR cloud-based software, Activ Absence can support this as it offers an easy way to keep track of where staff are on any given day and ensure its business as usual no matter where people are working.


It’s a user-friendly self-service portal for staff that tracks all types of absence including sick leave, holidays and training days, as well as shift patterns so companies always have a real-time overview of their workforce.


The benefits companies offer will also play a big part in how attractive an organisation is to work for. Medical insurance, life insurance, health and wellbeing benefits that cover mental, physical and financial as well as schemes such as cycle to work, gym membership or retail discounts are all options. It’s important though these are tailored to the workforce.


Research by Aviva[iii] found that different benefits work for different workplaces, from work socials to dogs in the office; they say all have their advocates. But they revealed that more traditional benefits remain popular.


Annual leave still matters the most, with 44% of those surveyed identifying it as one of the workplace benefits of greatest interest to them.  This was followed by a company pension (41%), flexible work (39%) and paid sick leave and/or critical illness cover (38%).


Another survey by Bionic[iv] found some more unusual benefits that employees wanted.  A birthday off work, casual office dress code, early finish Fridays and unlimited days off appealed to some.  Understanding the candidates an organisation wants to attract can help them decide which benefits they will value most.


Investing in training and development is also something that will attract people to a company.  A study this year showed that employees now see a vibrant learning and development culture as a key part of what makes a company a great place to work[v].


Activ Training can support HR teams with this and ensure staff have the relevant training and certifications for their role, and that employee training records are kept up to date with automated reminders.


Finally, a company’s environment, social and governance (ESG) credentials can help it stand out to job hunters. According to recruitment firm Robert Half ESG is now so important a factor in workers’ decision-making processes that a company can lose employees and lose out on candidates if they are perceived to be (or actually) not doing enough.


For companies about to go on a recruitment drive offering a competitive salary alongside some of these other important elements could help them attract the best candidates and win the talent war.




[i] https://www.talintinternational.com/half-of-uk-workers-prioritise-work-life-balance-when-job-hunting/?utm_campaign=TALiNT%20International&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=229244323&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8Ru69dvOs8l_Gt41SSoeMWzwYLUA-d6ZwVOLLRD9ROMl5IuuNfSwME3sN9ulwfwsNwJI36Mx_R0CS4Wy9ygUfpcEBd7A&utm_content=229244321&utm_source=hs_email

[ii] https://www.propelhub.org/the-future-of-flexible-working-insights-from-flex-for-life-2022/#:~:text=Of%20the%20workers%20included%20in,help%20them%20with%20childcare%20responsibilities

[iii] https://www.aviva.co.uk/business/business-perspectives/featured-articles-hub/employee-benefits-survey/

[iv] https://businessinthenews.co.uk/2022/07/26/uk-employees-most-desired-job-benefits-revealed/

[v] https://www.forbes.com/sites/markcperna/2022/04/12/why-learning–development-is-now-a-competitive-differentiator-and-how-to-get-on-board/?sh=711444c030ff