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Data-driven insight into the minds of today's workforce can be an invaluable tool for hiring—and perhaps most importantly, retaining—top talent across competitive industries. It's easy to assume that all employees want the same things, but the ever-shifting landscape of work opportunities often present new trends to track and adapt to. It's always good to get a temperature test every now and then.
How do you really know what skilled job seekers are looking for in potential employers and what benefits employees value most? In our experience, studying solid on-the-ground intel is always more valuable than making bold assumptions. Our recent survey of full-time employees based-in the US may have revealed that salary is still very much king, but it offers other useful information about what benefits are high value in the workplace.
In our survey, we asked employees across a broad range of age groups to rank eight different types of workplace benefits based-on what they valued the most.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, salary scored the highest among most respondents, sitting at the very top of the list in terms of importance among those we polled. Vacation time came in second overall, underscoring the importance of establishing a good work-life balance. Health insurance benefits and having a strong 401K package ranked a close third, with flexible hours and opportunities for growth and development following not far behind. Employees we polled placed less value on things like office culture, paid maternity/paternity leave, and remote work options.
Survey respondents were asked to rank each benefit on a scale of 1-10, with one being the highest value benefit and 10 being the lowest. While rankings were spread out across the various tiers of importance, here's a look at the percentage of employees who ranked each benefit as their #1 choice in terms of value.
1) Salary - 49.55%
2) Vacation Time - 20.98%
3) Flexible Hours - 7.59%
4) Health Insurance / 401k Package - 6.70%
5) Office Culture and Extra Perks - 5.80%
6) Growth and Development Opportunities - 4.46%
7) Remote Work Options - 2.68%
8) Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave - 2.23%
In terms of age demographics, the vast majority of those we surveyed fell in the 30-44 age group (37.50%). Roughly 25% of respondents were ages 18-29 and 27.23% fell between the ages of 45 and 60. Only 9.82% of respondents were over the age of 60. Among those surveyed, we saw a close split between male and female respondents (51% female and 49% male).
Our survey data shows that salary, vacation time, a flexible schedule, and health insurance are at the top of the list of high value benefits among US employees we polled. What's interesting, is that remote work opportunities weren't a huge consideration in this group, yet working from home continues to grow as a viable and valued option across the US. As this trend continues to evolve, it'll become all the more important for employers to learn how to manage remote employees successfully.
Vacation time remains a high value benefit, and it can be essential for helping employees find the work/life balance they need to stay refreshed and effective in their roles. It's an important piece of the puzzle, though there are many smaller things people can also do to help strike that necessary balance to maintain health and happiness in the workplace. Educating and supporting your employees to seek that balance can be tremendously beneficial to the strength and longevity of your workforce.
The cost of living continues to rise, so it's no surprise that income level is of great importance to employees. With salary still being among the highest value benefits for employees, it's also doubly important to understand the value of different skill sets and how to set competitive salaries to attract top talent across a broad range of tech-focused fields.
For a comprehensive breakdown of the latest invaluable insights for employers, be sure to download our 2019 Salary Guide to gain the hiring advantage you need to grow your business.