Landing that Unicorn


Attractive Benefits That Won’t Break The Bank

Every hiring manager has probably encountered this situation before: You’ve found the perfect candidate to fill an important role in your organization. But you can’t afford the salary they want. What can you do to convince them to join?

Fortunately, most professionals are not motivated by money alone. In a survey by Glassdoor, 60 percent of respondents said they seriously consider perks and benefits before accepting a job offer, and 80 percent preferred additional benefits over a salary increase. Even if your company’s compensation is lower than that of other businesses, you can offer unique benefits and opportunities a candidate might not be able to find elsewhere.

Here are some of the top non-monetary benefits that organizations can offer to prospective employees:

Mission. A recent LinkedIn study found that the most attractive global employers had a strong sense of mission and purpose. For example, Unilever, the eighth-most attractive company in the world, unites its hundreds of brands under the value of purpose. “When you bring people and brands together under the banner of purpose, ordinary people can achieve some extraordinary things,” explained vice president of global talent and resourcing Stephen Lochhead.

Every organization needs a clear mission, and the more effectively you can communicate this to candidates, the better your chance of attracting them. How will this job give them a sense of purpose in their lives? What will get them excited to come to work each day? Purpose is powerful and can be worth far more than a high salary.

Impact. According to 20,000 African professionals, one of the most important aspects of an attractive job is impact. This year’s Careers in Africa Top 100 report says candidates want to know they can affect positive progress within the company and the larger society.

Your pitch to candidates should cover the areas of autonomy and decision-making they will have, as well as a broader demonstration of social impact. Help them envision how individual lives, communities, and even societies as a whole can be improved if they join your team.

Flexibility. As reported in Harvard Business Review, employees highly value flexibility in their work schedule, especially flexible hours, more paid vacation time, and the option to work from home. This is especially important for professional women in Africa, 92 percent of whom said that flexible working hours are the most important reason to stay in a job, according to Careers in Africa.

Top performers can make tremendous contributions to your organization even if they aren’t in the office all the time. Consider what flexibility you can offer to candidates so they can do a great job and maintain work-life balance.

Culture. Research firm Gallup has found that employees who are connected to their organization's culture are more engaged. “It’s all about employee engagement and active leadership,” Alan Cassels, country manager of DHL Kenya, told How We Made It in Africa.

What is unique and special about your organization’s culture that can attract new employees? Think about the values that define your company, the kind of leadership you have, team relationships, and how you work. DHL Kenya’s culture is established through “open-minded managers being close to their teams and showing that they really care what employees think,” Cassels explained. The strength of your culture alone could make someone want to be part of that experience.

Learning opportunities. Almost 90 percent of millennials and Gen-Xers say that an organization’s commitment to professional development is linked with their job satisfaction, according to The Society for Human Resource Management. Opportunities for learning, growth, and development help employees see their time with your company as a long-term investment in their own career.

How is your company providing great opportunities for growth and development for your employees? Aside from sending team members to trainings and conferences, you can also offer an internal mentoring or coaching program, clear paths for advancement, employee-led classes, and the opportunity to collaborate with top executives in the company.

Whatever additional benefits you choose to offer, Kenyans Come Home believes that your efforts to attract the best candidates will be worth it. The wrong hire can hurt the productivity of your entire team, but, as reported recently in Business Daily, “high performers deliver exponentially more financial value than low or average performers.”