Win the Best Candidate with a Custom New Hire Package

There is a Toxic Generalization in Hiring Nowadays

It’s that Millennials don’t care about benefits. It’s understandable why many employers think this, as Millennials are often associated with a number of negative traits specifically when it comes to the workplace. In the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 43 percent of Millennials said they envision leaving their jobs within two years while only 28 percent plan to stay beyond five. The perception is that they’re unattached, disinterested, and only concerned about themselves.

But as many other organizations have identified through research, it’s this misperception — and many others — about Millennials that ultimately lead to them leaving a company. James Goodnow, a Millennial himself and the author of Motivating Millennials, perhaps said it best:

“These stereotypes are stifling for millennials. This ‘they’re probably leaving anyway’ mentality creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where business leaders don’t invest in their youngest workers, who then leave as a result.”

It’s Time to Revisit the New Hire Package

One of the biggest investments that employers are failing to make nowadays is in the new hire package offered to a candidate. While the three most active workplace generations — Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials — all value benefits in one way or another, a one-size-fits-all new hire package will no longer work for Millennials. This is because of what Millennials value: compensation, benefits, flexible schedules, remote work, and time off.

What is needed now are customized new hire packages for Millennial candidates. This shift must be adopted sooner rather than later for two reasons. First, Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce — and their dominance will only continue to grow. Many Millennials are at a point in their lives where they’re starting families and buying homes. For the oldest Millennials (now close to 40), retirement planning and other benefits are critical. Clearly Millennials have more focus on benefits today than ever before.

Second, while candidates might fall in love with the culture, workspace, vision, and other aspects of the job opportunity and company, their decision still ultimately comes down to the new hire package you provide. If you can’t meet their needs, they most likely won’t take the job. But what if your company doesn’t have a remote work option? What if your office hours are set and don’t have the flexibility that a Millennial candidate was hoping for? What if you can’t meet the candidate’s salary expectations?

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can bridge the gaps to make an offer to a Millennial candidate still appealing despite it not being exactly what they wanted. Let’s take a look at a few examples of a custom new hire package that saved the day.

Customized New Hire Package Examples

Meet John

John works for a midsize SaaS company that has an established platform and customer base. His current compensation package includes a base salary of $110,000 with an annual bonus, 15 days of PTO, and five sick days. Despite a solid compensation package, John is dissatisfied with where the company is going and decides to move. He meets with a prospective employer who offers a pay bump of $6,000 despite offering only 10 days of PTO and five sick days.

Why John accepted: While the new employer couldn’t customize its personal time options in its new hire package, they provided additional compensation to offset the difference.

Meet Traci

Traci works for a 500-person financial institution on their information security team. Her current compensation package includes a base salary of $84,000, a $5,000 annual bonus, and a company-paid CISSP certification. Traci enjoys her job, but recent staffing changes have created a toxic working environment, so she decides to explore her options. However, if Traci leaves before the end of the year, she’ll lose her annual bonus. She is also required to repay the CISSP certification cost ($3,500) when she leaves. A prospective employer offers her a new base salary of $100,000 with no bonus option but a February start date as its new hire package.

Why Traci accepted: The compensation increase offset the loss of a bonus. A later start date allowed her to collect a final bonus and complete her certification, despite having to pay it back.

Meet Kevin

Kevin works for a large software company in their compliance department. He has a young daughter and twins on the way. His current compensation package includes a $95,000 base salary with three weeks of PTO as well as four weeks of paternity leave. He no longer feels challenged in his role and has also been at the same pay level for a few years. He meets with a prospective employer who offers a $100,000 base salary with a $5,000 sign-on bonus, a matching three weeks of PTO, and four weeks of unpaid paternity leave.

Why Kevin accepted: Despite losing paid paternity leave in his current role, the sign-on bonus helps to offset the lost income while still allowing him time to care for his family.

Considerations for Strengthening Your New Hire Package

If you’re an HR leader or hiring manager, you might be wondering how you can work this flexibility into your current new hire package. True, benefits can be difficult to customize, particularly insurance. But it’s important to identify areas where you can offer more to offset areas where you fall short. If your company doesn’t provide the same 401(k) match that a candidate’s current employer offers, consider a higher salary or a sign-on bonus.

It’s not all in the hard numbers, either. Say your organization could only formally match a candidate’s salary, insurance coverage, and 401(k) match. If this candidate is ideal, agility will be the deciding factor. Offer the candidate an extra week of paid time off in their new hire package. Allow them to work from home one day a week if the company typically operates in-office. Consider allowing them to work “core office hours” (hours when their participation or presence is critical) versus the traditional workday of 8–5. Allow them to come in early and leave early.

If your organization is seeking top producers (e.g., high-performing salespeople, account managers, top developers, etc.), consider additional flexibility as part of your new hire package. Let them work remotely and as needed — wherever they’re best able to produce positive results for your organization. And of course, ensure they’re utilizing their PTO to recharge their batteries. Try not to turn down a PTO request.

It’s not worth passing on a great candidate when they’re sitting right in front of you. The last thing you need is to have a critical operational or producing role go unfilled for even longer. The costs incurred to your organization from lost productivity will easily match or even exceed the 10–20 percent compensation increases that many tech candidates are wanting in new opportunities. If you can’t make a reasonable offer, don’t invest the time in trying to compete.

Partner with the Recruitment Experts for Your Tech Positions

At CultureFit, we’ve been helping companies ranging from SaaS startups to Fortune 250s identify, hire, and retain their most critical technology positions for more than 20 years. Don’t leave your important openings to chance. We’ll work closely with you to understand your goals, identify candidates that meet them as well as your culture, and help you craft the most compelling offer possible to ensure they not only accept but also stay for the long-term.

Contact us for a consultation on what comprises your organizational culture and how it can be used to hire the best candidates.