Glassdoor survey reveals four in five employees prefer new benefits or perks to pay rises


Nearly four in five (79 percent) employees would prefer new or additional benefits or perks to a pay increase, according to the Glassdoor Q3 2015 U.S. Employment Confidence Survey. Conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor, this survey evaluates four key indicators of employee confidence: job market optimism/rehire probability, salary expectations, job security and business outlook. In addition, this quarter’s survey examines the value employees place on benefits and perks in lieu of pay raises.

Specifically, looking at the 79 percent of employees who reported they want benefits and/or perks over an increase in pay, the most preferred benefit is healthcare insurance (40 percent), followed by vacation/paid time off (37 percent), performance bonuses (35 percent), paid sick days (32 percent) and a 401(k) plan/retirement plan/pension (31 percent). More women (82 percent) than men (76 percent) prefer benefits/perks to a pay raise. In addition, younger employees aged 18-34 (89 percent) and 35-44 (84 percent) prefer benefits/perks to pay raises when compared to those aged 45-54 (70 percent) and 55-64 (66 percent).

“As the U.S. economy continues to expand and job market confidence continues to rise, there is no doubt it is a job seeker’s market. This is a clear signal to employers that in order to compete in today’s labor market, it’s not just about salary and compensation, employers should be communicating clearly about non-traditional compensation. Recruiters should take note that touting the benefits and perks offered can help win talent of different demographics, industries and occupations,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.

At a new high since this question was first asked more than six and a half years ago in Q1 2009, 54 percent of employees (including those self-employed) report confidence that if they lost their job, they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months, up 2 percentage points since last quarter (52 percent). Of those unemployed but looking for work, rehire probability confidence is down 6 percentage points to 40 percent since last quarter (46 percent), but up 7 percentage points compared to last year (Q3 2014, 33 percent). In fact, younger employees (including those self-employed) aged 18-34 years old (60 percent) are significantly more optimistic in their ability to find a job in the next six months when compared to employees aged 55-64 (44 percent).

As employees report confidence in the job market at new highs, pay raise expectations continue to rise. For the first time since this question was first asked in Q4 2008, half (50 percent) of employees expect to receive a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, up 3 percentage points from last quarter (47 percent). Pay raise confidence among women increased 7 percentage points from last quarter (42 percent) to 49 percent, while pay raise confidence among men ticked up 1 percentage point to 51 percent compared to last quarter (50 percent).

Employees are also less worried about layoffs, with 15 percent of employees reporting concern they may be laid off in the next six months, down 2 percentage points from last quarter (17 percent). Also down 2 percentage points from last quarter (24 percent), 22 percent of employees are concerned about co-workers being laid off in the next six months. Younger employees (aged 18-34) are more concerned about being laid off in the next six months (22 percent) compared to employees in other age groups: 35-44 (12 percent) and 55-64 (7 percent). And, men are significantly more concerned about being laid off in the next six months (19 percent) than women (9 percent).

With layoff concerns down, 48 percent of employees (including those self-employed) believe their company’s business outlook will get better in the next six months, which is down slightly since last quarter (51 percent). Forty-six percent believe it will stay the same, while 6 percent believe it will get worse, down slightly from last quarter (7 percent).

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