Health and wellbeing benefits are being used to attract and retain top HR staff

Employers are increasingly using health and wellbeing benefits to attract top HR candidates, rather than higher salaries, according to a new salary survey.

The 2007 HR Salary Survey from recruitment consultancy Hudson found that employers are acknowledging that good salaries alone are no longer sufficient to secure and retain the best talent.

Instead, health benefits have become a crucial differentiator between firms vying to close critical skills gaps. More than three-quarters (77%) of employers now offer private medical insurance, and two-thirds (66%) are offering enhanced occupational sick pay.

The survey uses data from the firm’s recruitment consultants based in eight offices across the UK.

More than half (52%) of firms are now offering an employee assistance programme, with many companies covering all or part of the cost of counselling, referrals, and advice in dealing with stress or personal issues.

Mark Carriban, UK director of Hudson’s HR recruitment practice, said: “Although we have seen an increase in salary levels for HR professionals during the last 12 months, our survey confirms that bonuses and benefits are becoming more critical as differentiators.

“Health benefits in particular represent a competitive new front in the war for talent. This has been reflected at all levels and, looking ahead to 2008, we anticipate them continuing to play a key part in how HR professionals are recruited and retained.”

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