Recruiting the best talent has never been more competitive and it is increasingly crucial that businesses clearly articulate their complete benefits package to prospective talent. No longer are job hunters simply on the lookout for the best paid role they can lay their hands on, although money is, of course, still important. Today, the culture, perks, work-life balance, opportunities for progression and the nature of the work itself are all critical to persuading the best staff to join your organisation over a competitor.

So, what can and should businesses do in 2017 to make themselves as attractive as possible to prospective staff?

Workplace wellbeing

Wellbeing has become a buzzword in recent years, but ensuring the positive physical and mental health of staff is essential to the health of your business. Wellbeing programmes are being implemented, not as a fluffy staff perk, but as a way to drive business efficiency.

Ultimately, looking after the wellbeing of your staff lowers absenteeism, reduces healthcare costs and improves morale. Investing to create a relaxing and healthy environment for your staff, and ensuring those in management positions are bought into the concept of delivering a wellbeing programme, will undoubtedly deliver long-term value.

Creative benefits package

Pay will always be important, but according to the most recent PwC Millennial survey, just 44% of millennials consider competitive wages an important factor in making an employer attractive ­– second to opportunities for career progression. With millennials making up close to 50% of the global workforce, their views should matter to employers.

Other benefits highly sought by employees include excellent training and development programmes, and an attractive pension and insurance package. The PwC study also suggests the opportunity for flexible working ranks highly, a benefit that wasn't mainstream a decade ago but is so today because of the sheer demands of work and our "always on" society.

Just 44% of millennials consider competitive wages an important factor in making an employer attractive

The more employers can demonstrate that they offer a modern benefits package reflecting how today’s workers want to balance their work and personal commitments, the more likely they are to reap the benefits of the best staff joining their ranks.

Turning the perfect culture into a reality

It is easier to talk a good game regarding positive workplace culture than it is to infuse that culture across an organisation. However, effecting such culture is exactly what is needed in an age where trust in brands is low; a report from Mintel, for instance, reveals that just 36% of shoppers say they trust large companies to do what’s right.

Similarly, there can be a significant difference between an organisation’s mission statement and what employees experience on the inside. With trust in business remaining low it is more important than ever that organisations gain the trust of their employees by demonstrating that they “walk the walk and talk the talk.” This requires a culture of listening and taking action on employee concerns.

The way staff provide feedback to their employers and how business leaders implement this feedback across a business is critical, and for many organisations there is room for improvement in this area.

If businesses are able to adopt a strong approach to these three areas in 2017, they will be well set to stave off the competition and attract the very best talent.

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