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Making 2016 the best year yet for your business and your team


Jess Wood, managing director, Sandringham Wood, introduces her series of interviews produced exclusively for and why good benefits packages matter more to employees than many employers realise.  

Welcome 2016 and what a year it promises to be. Last year we produced a Research Paper that highlighted what employers think candidates want and what candidates actually want. You can read more about the revealing insights below.

This year, we’ll be doing a series of interviews with industry specialists about all things recruitment across all sorts of financial firms, from those long established, to start ups, small and larger companies. Watch out for these interviews – they’ll be available as video or audio only. If you’re looking to make 2016 your best year yet and you appreciate the importance of your team, your staff, your people to achieving that and/or you want to attract the right people to help you, then keep a look out for our first series of useful interviews in 2016 here on

To give you a flavour we’ll be chatting with Dawn Pearce-Herzberg from Vines Row, gaining an insight into her views on how advisory businesses that are looking to sell should communicate with their existing staff, i.e. the do’s and don’ts.

Emma Hanney from Financial Express (FE) will give us her views on employer branding, employee engagement and providing a good interview experience for candidates/potential new employees.

I’ll be interviewing real candidates like Sophie Haslehurst (placed at Sovereign Wealth Management) and asking her as a candidate who was looking to relocate, for her views on what she looked for in a recruiter, any experience of objections encountered whilst looking for a new role in a new city, how she’s settled in now, what it’s like being the only female adviser within the firm and much more.

Guide to finding the ideal employee

You can grab yourself our guide to finding the ideal employee to get you started here and catch up on our research paper below.

To recap, last year we asked candidates:

• What attracted them to their current role?

• What keeps them in their current role?

• If not actively looking, what would attract them to a new role?

We asked the same style of questions to employers to ascertain what they thought were the key drivers for candidates.

One of the areas that reflected the widest disparity was Employee Benefits – 62% of candidates ranked this as important, whilst just 32% of employers thought this was important to a candidate.

Clearly, I specialise in recruitment and I’m not an employee benefits consultant, however in my experience when people ask me about the ‘job/company’ I’m promoting whilst ‘what’s the salary range?’ is usually the first question, this is then closely followed by ‘what’s the benefits package like?’ This IS important to candidates; some candidates have even been willing to take a slightly lower salary in favour of having a decent benefits package.

A good benefits package offered by an employer shows they care about their staff; this will help attract all-important quality individuals to add value and assist with the growth of their business, it will help them gain more loyalty from their employees, achieve greater staff performance and overall retention.

Some employers in the past may have thought that benefits aren’t that important to younger members of staff i.e. ‘they’re not interested in pensions yet’ or ‘they don’t need group life cover’ however, with the introduction of auto-enrolment this is changing and the younger generation are being encouraged, and rightly so, to take steps to plan for their financial future.

With regard to more mature candidates, the benefits become even more important; with the level of pension contribution and healthcare being pretty high on the list together with the option to add family members to provide that added protection.

To conclude; our survey, which was completely independent, clearly shows that the benefit package on offer is really important when candidates make a decision to join a new company and can even be a deciding factor when an offer has been made.

So my advice to employers is not to base everything just on the salary range, look at the overall package on offer. For smaller businesses, whilst offering employee benefits may cost a bit more initially, the long-term advantages can greatly outweigh the initial costs and contribute to the overall success of your business and enable you to acquire great professionals who are in it for the long game.

See more at: It’s not all about the money, money, money

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