A comprehensive health insurance plan? Check.

Life insurance? Check.

Annual retreat to the Caribbean? Check!

Job seekers considering a position with digital agency Findr Interactive might read about the company’s annual employee retreat with bewilderment; it’s a perk that certainly stands out among traditional employee benefits. It’s no secret that employee benefits are top of mind for job seekers, and HR recruiters know that a good benefits package can make a huge difference in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Findr Interactive isn’t the first or only company to see opportunity in expanding benefits beyond the conventional boundaries. “Modern” benefits are popping up all around: meditation hour, grooming stipend, Texas Hold ’Em tournaments, a “puppytorium”, etc. Facebook and Apple have even pledged to pay female employees to freeze their eggs.[1]

For many of these organizations, these curious perks are designed to speak to company culture. An annual retreat for employees says to job seekers, “Our company cares about employee cohesion and happiness.” On-site massage therapists perhaps says, “Our company cares about employee wellbeing.”

It’s a rather clever approach, especially since job seekers look to company benefits as a marker for how employees are treated and valued. And it isn’t too difficult to take advantage of this approach. Not every company needs to provide employees with a room full of puppies or a retreat to a tropical island. There are many “modern” benefits that are subtler than midday surfing sessions but possibly even more appealing to employees. Here are just a few:

  • Wellness: Wellness programs are a common addition to employee benefits today. Healthy eating programs that include organic lunch for staff members are immensely popular, as are on-site fitness centers.
  • Volunteer: Millennials in particular are attracted to paid time off for volunteer projects.
  • Higher education: Financial assistance for education can go a long way – both for your employee and your company.
  • Family benefits: Paternity leave, extended maternity leave, and child-care assistance are becoming more prevalent as companies increase their support of working families.
  • Outplacement: Career transition services can be a key selling point to potential talent for any industry, given the volatile nature of today’s workplace. Employees would benefit from knowing that their company has a plan in place to help them if a layoff occurs unexpectedly.

Your company’s ideal benefits package might include some or all of these – or perhaps even other perks not mentioned here. There’s no checklist of “best employee benefits,” nor should there be. Benefits packages should be tailored to meet the needs of or appeal to your employees. Is your workforce largely comprised of Millennials? Are you in an industry prone to layoffs? Do many of your employees look for professional development opportunities? These questions might be useful in guiding your selections.

Your company culture is unique, and the best way to communicate that might just be through employee benefits. What does your benefits package say about your company?

[1] Taube, A. “Apple and Facebook are Paying Employees to Freeze Their Eggs,” Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-and-facebook-pay-women-to-freeze-eggs-2014-10

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