Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) believe offering flexible working initiatives is as important as salary when trying to attract good staff.
The latest research by Investors in People UK reveals that 33 per cent of SMEs see flexible working as the most attractive reward when recruiting and retaining good people, while 35 per cent of employers believe annual salary to be the most attractive reward.
The research, conducted via SME online advice service Yourpeoplemanager.com surveyed 190 employers and 368 employees and shows that employees have similar views - 40 per cent say annual salary is most likely to attract them to a new job while 32 per cent are most attracted by flexible working opportunities.
Just 8 per cent of employers and 6 per cent of employees think perks, such as a company car and gym membership, are an attractive reward.
Chief executive of Investors in People Ruth Spellman, backed the findings.
"Annual salary has previously been viewed as the key factor when recruiting people," she said, "but ensuring you strike a balance between home and work is becoming a real priority.
"People are also keen to develop. Some 24 per cent of employers and 22 per cent of employees believe training and promotion prospects are central to recruiting and retaining staff."