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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Benefits must be tailored to age to attract top talent

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Benefits must be tailored to workers’ age profile if such packages are to help employers attract and retain top talent effectively, a study has shown.

According to a survey among 2,000 UK adults undertaken by YouGov and commissioned by workplace consultancy Croner, issues such as flexible working, company reputation and workplace culture were highly valued by all respondents.
 
But the same was not true of other benefits. Young workers in the 18 to 24 category, for example, were most attracted to gym membership (8%) and staff development and talent management programmes (5%).
 
Money was the main driver of 25 to 34 year old staff members, with 35% being most interested by potential bonuses, while 45% of 35 to 44 year olds rated a positive corporate culture most highly.
 
Middle-aged personnel (aged 45 to 54) found flexible working the most appealing option (56%), while over 55s were keenest on receiving a decent health insurance (20%).
 
Viv Copeland, Croner’s head of reward, said: “There are clearly quite significant differences between the benefits valued by different age groups and, if an employer is trying to balance all these differing needs for both existing and prospective employees, a lifestyle benefits programme could really help achieve this.”
 
Knowing which benefits were valued and which were not could help HR directors tailor their investment to get the best value for the company and its employees, she added.
 
Ageist job market
 
A second study undertaken by economic think tank The Centre for Economics and Business Research based on official economic data and a national survey of 12,000 over 50s conducted by Saga, meanwhile, revealed that life for this age group was becoming increasingly difficult.
 
According to the Saga Quarterly Report, levels of unemployment among people aged between 50 and 64 continued to rise during the last quarter, even though joblessness among the working population as a whole fell.
 
The situation was particularly bad for women, where unemployment rates rose by 9.5%. But the number of both men and women who were out of work for more than a year also grew to 43%, up from 30% two years ago.
 
Ros Altmann, Saga’s director general, said: “It seems those in their 50s are faring even worse than the older groups, suffering faster income falls and rising long-term unemployment. These are issues that Government must not ignore.”
 
Rising prices, low interest rates and an ageist jobs market could all leave a generation of 50-somethings “on the scrapheap”, she warned.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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