Eye on Recruiting: Creative Employee Benefits

Eye on Recruiting: Creative Employee Benefits

“Do you offer benefits?”

As an employer, you’ve heard this question before and have had plenty of conversations about medical, dental, and retirement plans. But what if there was a way for your company to separate itself from all other companies that are competing for talent?

That way exists.

Many creative companies are exploring creative benefits packages that reach far beyond just the typical offerings. These packages also offer current employees another reason to stay if they’re being wooed by competitors.

Let’s help your company find inspiration from the examples of others:

Clif Bar
They’re more than just a delicious snack in your grocery store’s health food aisle. Clif Bar has created a want-to-work-here environment with these value-adds:

  • Family support incentives include adoption resources and programs for first-time homebuyers.
  • Onsite health resources, from a full gym with group fitness classes to chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists.
  • Flexible work schedules allow team members to work 80 hours in nine days and get every other Friday off. Employees can also choose to work from home one day per week.

Service industry jobs are notorious for lacking benefits. However, this growing healthy eatery has innovative perks for its employees. When you’re trying to attract and retain employees in lower-wage positions, take Sweetgreen’s lead.

  • Sweetgreen’s tenure program called Shades of Green ensures that every teammate gets a free shirt. The longer a teammate is with Sweetgreen, the darker their shirt.
  • Rewards for loyalty when employees stay. After one year, teammates get a pair of green high-top Converse sneakers. At two years, they get a t-shirt and a neon green iPod Nano Touch. After three years, they earn a lime-green Sweetgreen bike.
  • Free salads for employees during every shift.

Ever wonder how Facebook attracts and retains talent? They know what it takes to stay competitive in Silicon Valley.

  • Standing desks mean employees can work in a way that makes them comfortable.
  • An onsite barber shop makes sure there’s no excuse for a single unruly hair on their heads.
  • An innovative fertility-related program offers up to $20,000 for egg-freezing for their female employees.

While you’re waiting for your latest shoe order to arrive, have a look at the company that’s cultivated a fiercely loyal team of employees in Las Vegas.

  • An endurance event reimbursement program gives employees 100 percent reimbursement of their entry fee into approved endurance events.
  • Onsite Weight Watchers programs with reimbursement.
  • Free smoking cessation classes to keep the dry Nevada air easier to breathe for everyone.

If you’re thinking what a smaller company can do with limited resources, here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  • Public transportation. Consider reimbursing or subsidizing the use of public transit at a fixed dollar amount per month or year.
  • Child care. Helping growing families means you can help your company grow by alleviating a parent’s worries. Try a daycare allowance or if you have the room, onsite daycare.
  • Tuition programs. What better way to raise your company’s next generation of leaders than to raise them yourself? Consider tuition reimbursement or subsidy programs that encourage employees to gain critical and timely education. You’ll both end up smarter.
Erika Napoletano

About the Author


When you want your audience to listen, you have to give them a reason. Erika’s been finding and writing those reasons since 2007.

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