Employers use fringe benefits to lure talent

A flexible salary package with plenty of fringe benefits is the bait as employers scramble to secure talent in a highly competitive market.

A survey of 1700 IT employers by recruiter Hays Information Technology found 83 percent are now offering salary packages that include private health insurance and parking.

Of the employers who provide salary packaging and fringe benefits 25 percent offered private health insurance, and 64 percent offered it to a few selected employees, which is an increase from 27 percent last year.

Some 60 percent of employers offered parking to all employees, up from 24 percent last year, and 30 percent of employers offered bonuses. As the skills shortage intensifies, employers increase reviews of their attraction and retention strategies, according to Hays Information Technology general manager Peter Noblet.

"Employers are asking employees what they really want in terms of benefits and we are beginning to see changes in what's being offered," Noblet said.

Effective benefit programs can reward staff and help employee satisfaction, he said, adding that such programs help foster good morale. "Today many employers use benefits as integral components of the total employee package."

Ken Owiti, principal of recruitment firm Hamilton James Bruce, agreed saying that senior IT staff now receive packages that include bonuses. He said IT managers are being offered performance incentives in addition to a fixed amount.

Owiti said this is the case with some 90 percent of packages on offer in the private sector.

"Packages being offered now are based around the organizations' performance rather than your own performance ... this is a typical executive package at a large organization," Owiti said.

"The package does depend on the organization's size, even if IT staff don't report to the CEO. More often than not they are now considered part of an executive committee so packages do have relevance.

"Most IT positions are fairly expensive and if you had a banded salary structure you would find the salaries of IT managers would be higher than comparable management roles."

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