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Employers should consider non-traditional benefits

Written on Mar 17, 2022

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager 

Flexibility is essential for companies looking to snag top talent, says one recruiting expert.  

“They have to be more flexible when they present not only the responsibilities of the position or promotions down the road, but work life balance, benefits and money,” said Phil Freeman, senior vice president at Dawson. “I can talk to the candidate about how it’s a challenging opportunity, but that's not as important to them at this particular point.” 

Freeman on March 23 will present “Creative Solutions to Staffing Challenges,” along with Mari Moore at OSCPA’s Strategic Finance and Accounting Virtual Conference. 

Freeman said it’s a candidate’s market right now, citing a Gartner study reporting that after they begin looking, 75% of candidates have at least three job offers and 46% of those will have four offers. 

“When COVID hit in 2020, the number of jobs increased,” he said. “The number of people available for those jobs has decreased. That has not changed and, if anything, has gotten more challenging.” 

The most common requests he said he hears from candidates is their preference for work-life balance and the opportunity to work remotely or at least hybrid. Employers need to be aware of this, Freeman said, and be able to adjust accordingly when working with a valuable candidate. 

Freeman said when he speaks with accounting clients who are looking for new work, they almost always ask about the ability to work remotely. 

“And if the answer is no, most of the time, they'll say ‘Call me when you find something when I can work remote,’” he said. 

Employers shouldn’t get discouraged, but instead continue to be flexible and show interest. 

“You have to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes,” he said. “If you're the candidate and you put your resume in and almost immediately you get three or four responses, you talk to those, and they sound pretty good. But if you keep getting emails and phone calls from other people… (you might) want to see what happens with them. So, employers can't give up.” 

To hear more on this topic and others impacting corporate accounting, register today for the Strategic Finance and Accounting Virtual Summit.