When It Comes to Perks, Employers Should Think Outside the Paycheck

Talent-craving companies need to think outside the paycheck when trying to recruit and retain the best and the brightest, a new survey reveals. Employees and job hunters want employers to provide more than just money as part of a job’s compensation. Requests for upgraded perks such as free drinks, laundry services and massages are not uncommon.

The most cash-conscious cohort is Generation X (ages 33-50), according to a survey of more than 1,500 HR leaders and hiring managers conducted by SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based performance and talent-management software. Workers in this age group request bigger salaries (39 percent) and higher-ranking titles (49 percent) than any other age group.

The Millennials born between 1981 and 1991, on the other hand, although often tarred as the self-referential "me" generation, actually believe that being developed and nurtured in the workplace is worth more than cold, hard cash. They are more likely to request training (40 percent) and mentors (42 percent).

The least-demanding generation is the Baby Boomers, those ages 50 and older.

Overall, 49 percent of HR managers reported receiving requests for additional, non-financial job perks, including time off for volunteering (16 percent), free massages (8 percent) and laundry services (8 percent).

Gender does play a role in requested benefits, the survey found. Female employees are more likely to ask for reduced work hours (51 percent), flexible work hours (50 percent) and flexible work locations (40 percent).

Males employees are more likely to ask for  promotions (39 percent), off-cycle raises (36 percent) or unscheduled bonuses (33 percent).

"The days of providing a one-size-fits-all benefits package and expecting employees to be happy are long gone," said Dr. Karie Willyerd, chief learning officer at, SuccessFactors. "Business leaders who recognize the importance of tailoring benefits, providing training and mentoring programs, and leveraging social media and mobile connectivity will gain competitive advantage, win the talent wars and conquer the generation gap."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.