While salaries often play a part in drawing candidates into applying for a job vacancy, benefits from an organisation can be the deciding factor when professionals are considering multiple offers.
With all colleges across the country facing over-enrolment, and therefore searching for the same calibre of specialists, the market is witnessing unprecedented competition for professionals. Educators are demanding improved salary and benefits offerings, prompting employers to review their current employment strategies to secure the best talent from their rivals.
Here are the top seven requested benefits further education professionals are seeking from their employers:
1. Annual salary increments
Our survey revealed that nine out of 20 professionals are unhappy with their current salary, with the most common reason being the difference between duties on paper and in reality, with almost a third saying that they did more than what their role is meant to entail.
Although further education institutions may find it challenging to offer their employees an annual salary increment due to budget constraints and pay scales, it is difficult to ignore the increasing candidate shortage and overworked educators.
2. Free parking
Generally, colleges are located in bustling areas with limited to no free parking spaces onsite, leaving further education professionals having to fork out for parking costs or inconveniently park further away.
Whilst managing parking at colleges can be a complex and challenging task due to the space restrictions, we encourage institutions to consider reserving car parking spaces for members of staff or provide subsidised tariffs as an additional and unique benefit.
3. Opportunities for further training
As an educator, there are always more things to learn in the field or for personal development. Offering or encouraging further training is an excellent benefit to help your institution stay competitive while also giving staff a chance to gain a new qualification or expand their skills and knowledge.
4. Flexible working
Like most professionals over the past two years, further education workers have experienced a form of flexible working due to the pandemic. With the government requiring students to stay at home staff had to create a more agile teaching environment, which in turn offered more flexible working hours for teachers and lecturers. Keeping this benefit can potentially minimise stress-related illnesses in colleges, promote wellbeing and ultimately, help to retain staff.
5. Discounted childcare
Incorporating family-friendly benefits into a candidate’s package is a great way to retain staff who are thinking of starting a family soon and give your institution a competitive edge against your rivals.
Offering discounted childcare gives your employees who are parents peace of mind knowing that their child is safe, and therefore increases their productivity, provides them with a better work-life balance and raises morale.
6. Enhanced annual leave
In our snap survey, annual leave/ paid time off was listed by two-thirds of our respondents as their most desired benefit, signalling that adding more days to employees’ entitlement is a simple way to attract and retain professionals.
While it can be difficult to give educators additional time off due to the nature of the role, it could be beneficial to incorporate more leave to reward long-serving employees or give staff their birthday off as an extra perk.
7. Performance bonus
It’s no secret that offering an incentive is a fantastic way to motivate and engage employees to achieve results and hit their goals. This unique benefit within the further education sector could help institutions stand out from their competitors and serve as a tool to attract new candidates while encouraging high performance.
For more information on the latest salary and benefits in the sector, download our free 2023 further education salary guide now.