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The recruitment market in Melbourne is highly competitive and largely driven by candidates; who are increasingly expecting more from their employers. Offering attractive salaries and career prospects are arguably the most influential factors when hiring top talent, but studies are showing that some staff value perks over raises.

The world’s leading businesses continuously improve their benefits packages to keep their employees happy and engaged, and if you’re serious about attracting and retaining talented staff refreshing your employment benefits is a good place to start. The type of perks you offer also helps communicate your company culture and values to prospective candidates.

Not every business can offer overnight ski-trips or unlimited gourmet food, but here are some great budget-friendly initiatives that could give you the edge you need.

  1. Give your staff a monthly rostered day off

A simple but highly attractive perk, offering employees an extra day off per month is a benefit for anyone living in a world where we people are increasingly time poor. Some of our clients have recently begun to promote this benefit, much to the delight of our candidates.

  1. Provide employees with a wellness stipend

Some companies promote employee wellbeing by offering a monthly wellness stipend. Eventbrite, for example, gives staff members with $60 a month to spend on a health-related purchase of their choice, whether it be hot yoga classes, detox programmes or a gym membership.

  1. Offering staff paid time off to volunteer

An increasingly popular initiative, companies such as Salesforce and Timberland are giving staff time off to help support a worthy causes.  Not only is this good for the world, it boosts team morale as well as your corporate image. For some businesses it may be unrealistic to match Ernst & Young’s annual 40-hour allowance, but even a day or two makes a difference.

  1. Organise staff sports tournaments

If your business is big enough, you can organise your own sports tournament between teams, or alternatively you can organise events with your clients or your industry counterparts. Alternatively there are many corporate sporting events in Melbourne that you can sign up for, including football tournaments, triathlons and the Australian Corporate Games. This is a great way to boost team comradery, health and celebrate accomplishments.

  1. Organise in-office yoga, gym classes or massages for your team

At Accountancy Options we’re more into massages than HIIT work outs, but there are plenty of fun options when it comes to affordable in-office activities taught by qualified professionals to help your team get away from their desks.

  1. Arrange a dry cleaning service for your staff

During busy periods take an extra load off your team members’ minds and contact a mobile dry cleaning service. There are several companies in Melbourne that offer office dry cleaning collections and drop offs for a reasonable price.

  1. Create a pet-friendly office environment

This is a huge bonus for professionals who’d love to have a dog (which is basically everyone) but who’s office-centred lifestyle prevents it. This is also an increasingly popular offering among progressive employers, but you’re worried about your office turning into a zoo, limit your pet-friendly days to once a week, or alternate days between different teams.

  1. Give your staff a surfs up pass

Melbourne may not be the ideal location for this initiative but many Australians will appreciate it. Companies like Patagonia make company surf announcements when the weather reports are particularly good and encourage staff to take a break and catch some waves.

The psychological and physical benefits of surfing have been well documented, and providing people are back in reasonable(ish) time this is an excellent free benefit to offer beach side offices.

  1. Mini office parties

Every quarter we’ll organise a big team social, but after a long week in the office winding down together on Friday afternoon with some snacks, music and a glass of wine or two can be a great way for your team to end the working week. Some companies (such as American app developer Smule) even encourage musically inclined staff members to bring their instruments in for an afternoon jam session.

If you’d like to speak to us about how we can help you find talented accounting and finance staff, financial services staff, or business support staff, contact us today.

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