Non-cash incentives are top tactic for attracting top talent

Businesses
are increasingly willing to offer their employees non-cash benefits in addition
to the traditional salary – according to a new survey.

The
survey, by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in association with the Office of
the e-Envoy, found 85 per cent of respondents said they now offer higher
pension contributions, private healthcare and assistance with the costs of
out-of-hours study to attract the right staff.

Recognising
this shift towards non-cash benefits, the Government has launched the Home Computer
Initiative. Designed to be both a perk for an employee and an IT skills boost
for an employer, the scheme allows a business to claim back tax on a computer
purchased on behalf of a member of staff who can then use it to work from home.  

Commenting
on the survey, IoD director-general, George Cox, said: "Modern employers
have to be more imaginative with their remuneration packages; they know that
salary alone is no longer enough to attract the best staff.

"In
an increasingly competitive market, employees are looking to top up their
salaries with benefits that will make a real difference to their quality of
life. That might mean a better pension or a grant to cover the costs of
part-time study outside office time," he said.

"The
challenge for policy-makers is to find ways of linking this demand for more
flexible remuneration to schemes that meet the nation’s need for stronger
skills in areas such as IT."

The
Government’s e-Envoy Andrew Pinder said: "This survey spells out how
salary-sacrifice schemes could be the key to solving IT skills shortages in the
UK. A recent NOP survey showed that 61 per cent of employees with computers at
home believed their IT skills had improved as a result. In this latest survey,
73 per cent of employers questioned said that 
they felt their organisation could benefit from a scheme to loan
computing equipment to their people.

"There
is obviously a major demand that, if fulfilled could make a sharper difference
to UK competitiveness. That is why the Government this month launched the Home
Computing Initiative guidelines which help businesses to do just that at no
cost to themselves," he added.

By Quentin Reade

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