The company culture myth part 2: The perks

Posted by Mike Deissig

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January 9, 2014

While the perks aren’t everything, the extras certainly help attract – and keep – top talent.

TheLadders_Culture_02In my last post, I talked about the importance of building “company culture” and what that really means. The term has become synonymous with “company perks,” and while perks are a huge part of culture, they aren’t everything. That being said, they can be extremely helpful in the hiring process, making it easier for prospective candidates to make the decision to join a company.

So what are some of the perks out there? I can’t speak to all companies’ perks, but I do know what TheLadders offers and why we do it. These are just a few of the categories I’ve seen to be especially effective.

Tools for success
This can sometimes be the deciding factor for a potential candidate choosing between one company and another. Even the most intelligent, motivated employee still needs certain tools to succeed, and the better the tools, the easier it is to excel. If you are a technology organization with native mobile applications like TheLadders, if you are doing a lot with web design, or you if you are simply pushing the envelope to be incredibly innovative, employees want to have the best tools. That could be the latest MacBook Pro, multiple high-resolution screens, special design software, an iPad, an iPhone, or whatever the employee’s tech needs may be.

Learning and development
The opportunity for career development is huge, and it benefits both sides of the equation. TheLadders sponsors professionals who want to learn skills to further develop their careers. This could be paying for an expensive conference an employee has been dying to attend, a 3-day workshop on a programming language, or a 6-week class teaching a design skill. A smarter, more developed employee helps the company function at peak performance, and the professional gets experience that will develop their career. It also helps eliminate churn when employees know we value their contributions to the company, and are willing to invest in them.

Work/life balance
This can mean so many things, but what I have found to be most important is having the ability to work from home when it’s acceptable and helpful, as well as being able to take a break from work when you need it. TheLadders has an unlimited vacation policy, and our employees work hard and deserve it. After putting in 10-12-hour days for three weeks straight to complete a project, an employee can say, “Hey, I really need a 4-day breather to clear my head and regroup.” And (being cognizant of work needs and others on the team) it’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. This also means that when situations come up outside the office (families, children, emergencies, inclement weather), employees can work from home or rearrange their hours. A little bit of flexibility goes a long way in the office, and employees appreciate knowing the company cares about their happiness at home, as well as at work.

While perks are beneficial, at the end of the day what’s truly important is that the employee feels valued and the organization feels confident in their ability to work hard and be successful. If the perks don’t reflect this, they aren’t enough to aid in the hiring process or retain exceptional talent.

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Deissig_MikeMichael Deissig is the Manager of Talent Acquisition at TheLadders, and has 10 years of technology recruiting within NYC and the tech startup space. More than anything, he believes people should love what they do, and that a job should be a second home. When he’s not recruiting or helping people advance their careers, he loves watching football, being with friends, and playing FIFA. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDeissig to chat or ask questions.

Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing, HR & Benefits