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Attracting Top Talent: 10 Employee Perks Employers Should Offer

    In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is essential for the success of any organization. To stand out and draw in the best employees, companies need to offer more than just a competitive salary. Employee perks play a crucial role in recruitment and can set you apart as an employer of choice. In this article, we will explore ten employee perks that employers should consider offering to recruit and retain top talent.

    1. Flexible Work Arrangements

    In a post-pandemic world, flexibility has become a top priority for many employees. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, can make your company more attractive to a wide range of candidates. According to a survey by FlexJobs, 65% of respondents said they are more productive working from home, and 66% said they wanted to work remotely full-time.

    Implementing a flexible work policy can also have legal implications, and it’s essential to navigate these carefully. Employers should be aware of federal and state laws regarding remote work, such as wage and hour laws and tax regulations. Additionally, employment contracts should clearly outline the terms of remote work to avoid misunderstandings.

    2. Health and Wellness Programs

    Health and wellness programs can significantly impact employee recruitment and retention. These programs can include gym memberships, access to mental health resources, and wellness challenges. According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 87% of U.S. employers offer wellness programs, and they can have a positive impact on employee health, productivity, and morale.

    When implementing these programs, it’s crucial to consider the legal aspects, such as compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for employee healthcare benefits. Employers must also respect the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations when handling employee health data and information.

    3. Professional Development Opportunities

    Investing in professional development opportunities is a win-win for both employers and employees. Companies that support their employees’ growth and career advancement tend to attract and retain top talent. Employees value access to training, workshops, and educational resources. A 2021 survey by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning.

    Legal considerations for professional development often involve the allocation of budgets and reimbursement for educational expenses. Employers should establish clear policies on how they will support employees’ educational pursuits and ensure compliance with relevant labor laws.

    4. Generous Paid Time Off (PTO)

    A generous PTO policy is a sought-after perk that can help you attract and retain employees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 77% of workers in private industry have access to paid vacation leave. Offering a competitive PTO package shows that you value work-life balance and employee well-being.

    Compliance with federal, state, and local laws regarding paid time off is essential. Employers should be aware of regulations like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state-specific paid sick leave laws, which may impact their PTO policies.

    5. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

    Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) offer employees a stake in the company, making them feel more connected to the organization’s success. ESOPs are a unique employee benefit, with 7,000 ESOP companies employing over 14 million employees, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). They can serve as a powerful recruitment and retention tool.

    When implementing ESOPs, employers must follow strict legal regulations. These plans must adhere to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) guidelines and involve complex fiduciary responsibilities. Legal expertise is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid potential liabilities.

    6. Childcare Assistance

    Childcare responsibilities can be a significant barrier to career growth, especially for working parents. Offering childcare assistance, such as on-site daycare facilities or subsidies, can be a game-changer for employees. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the cost of childcare can consume a significant portion of a family’s income, making this perk highly desirable.

    Legal considerations for childcare assistance include adherence to tax regulations and labor laws. Employers must navigate issues related to benefits taxation, employee rights, and fair employment practices when offering childcare support.

    7. Student Loan Repayment Programs

    Student loan debt is a major concern for many employees, particularly younger generations. Offering student loan repayment programs can be a unique and compelling employee benefit. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 8% of employers offer this perk, making it a standout offering.

    Employers implementing student loan repayment programs should be aware of tax implications and legal considerations. Programs should comply with federal tax regulations, and employers must define eligibility criteria and reimbursement terms to avoid potential legal issues.

    8. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

    Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide confidential support for employees dealing with personal and work-related challenges. EAPs typically offer counseling, legal guidance, and financial assistance. These programs can enhance employee well-being and productivity.

    Legal considerations for EAPs include privacy and confidentiality regulations. Employers must ensure that EAP providers comply with laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect employees’ personal information.

    9. Generous Retirement Plans

    A strong retirement plan can be a powerful recruitment tool, especially for candidates looking for long-term stability. Offering a 401(k) plan with matching contributions or a pension plan can set you apart as an employer committed to employees’ financial security.

    Employers must be well-versed in the legal aspects of retirement plans, such as compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and tax regulations. Providing clear plan documents and adhering to fiduciary responsibilities is essential.

    10. Employee Recognition and Awards

    Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions is an essential part of creating a positive work culture. Employee recognition programs can include performance bonuses, annual awards, and public acknowledgment of achievements. Such programs boost morale and job satisfaction.

    Legal considerations for recognition and awards programs involve fairness and transparency. Employers must ensure that these programs are administered impartially and do not discriminate against any employees based on protected characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, to avoid potential legal disputes.


    In a competitive job market, offering attractive employee perks is vital for recruiting and retaining top talent. These perks, ranging from flexible work arrangements to recognition programs, can set your organization apart as an employer of choice. However, it’s crucial to navigate the legal aspects of these perks carefully to avoid potential pitfalls. By adhering to relevant labor laws, tax regulations, and compliance requirements, employers can provide these benefits while mitigating legal risks. Ultimately, the right combination of perks and legal diligence can help your organization thrive by attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry.

    By implementing these ten employee perks and ensuring compliance with relevant legal regulations, employers can position themselves as desirable destinations for top talent. In a competitive job market, attracting and retaining the best employees is essential for success. These perks can set you apart as an employer of choice, enhancing your reputation and enabling you to recruit and retain top talent.

    Disclaimer: This article provides general guidance and information. HR managers should consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws when implementing these strategies.


    1. FlexJobs Survey: Remote Work & Productivity
    2. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans – Wellness Programs
    3. LinkedIn Learning Report 2021
    4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employee Benefits in the United States
    5. National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
    6. U.S. Department of Labor – Child Care Assistance
    7. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Student Loan Repayment
    8. Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA) – About EAPs
    9. Employee Benefits Security Administration – ERISA
    10. U.S. Department of Labor – Retirement Plans
    11. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – Employee Recognition