The recruitment market in the UK is buzzing – and the race for talent is on. Prior to the pandemic, this would mean salary increases across the board as employers tried to keep and attract the best talent, but changing priorities mean the benefits on offer are just as important.
Despite the boom, the Office for National Statistics estimates that there are more than one million vacancies – and there aren’t enough candidates to fill them. Our consultants are finding that the people they are speaking to often have two or even three job offers on the table – and when making a choice a good benefits package can make all the difference.
As well as providing details on starting salaries for more than 200 job roles across the UK, our 2022 Salary Guide includes insights from senior business leaders in the UK – coverage national trends as well as the top trends for perks and benefits. So what are other employers doing?
Top benefit trends for 2022
- Access to remote working
- Increased flexibility on hours
- Focus on mental health and wellbeing
Remote working is the number one ‘must-have’ for 2022
Two in five (41%) employees agree that flexible working should now be offered as standard, and businesses are responding accordingly.
Nearly half (45%) of employers added remote working to their roster of perks in the past 12 months – although admittedly more due to need than desire. However, multiple lockdowns have proved that people can work from home – and they like it. It seems most employers agree that the pros outweigh the cons as nearly four in five (78%) are expecting to offer remote working during 2022.
While there may be concerns about culture and productivity linked to remote working, it is clear that companies are better off with it than without. Demand is so high that our consultants are reporting candidates walking away from a great offer if they were not offered hybrid or remote working opportunities, and one in five (20%) employees are prepared to walk if they are not offered their preferred working environment.
Increased flexibility on working hours
Many trends that were growing in importance prior to the pandemic have accelerated – and flexibility on working hours was one of them, with many companies extending their existing offerings or adding new support.
Many companies have recognised the benefits of being more flexible on hours of work, whether that is making it easier for parents to spend time with their children or for people to take time out of their day to exercise.
One in three (31%) employers have become more flexible in the last 12 months, while 11 per cent have added flexible working hours, so it looks as though this trend is here to stay well into 2022.
Focus on mental health and wellbeing
Owing largely to the pandemic and concerns about being able to keep tabs on the wellbeing of their workforce while working from home, mental health and wellbeing is one of business leaders’ biggest priorities for their employees going into 2022.
Nearly half (46%) of employers think it is more likely that their teams will suffer from stress and burnout in 2022, and they are acting pre-emptively to reduce the risk. Half (51%) now have a 24/7 mental health hotline, while 29 per cent have either implemented a stress reduction programme or added to an existing initiative.