9 Incentives You Should Offer to Attract Top Talent

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: Other than a competitive salary, what’s one incentive top candidates always look for when job hunting?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. Career Advancement

Top candidates look for opportunities to advance in their careers. They are in demand, so they can say no to jobs that lack the possibility of progression. They want to expand their knowledge, learn new technologies, and face challenges that stretch their abilities. A great salary can’t compensate for a stalled career, so companies should highlight growth, promotion, and education opportunities. — Corey Northcutt, Northcutt Enterprise SEO

2. Health Benefits

Individual health insurance is so expensive these days. To lure top talent onto your team, you’re going to need to offer this incentive. Offering health insurance also demonstrates that you care for your team’s overall well-being. — Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

3. Flexibility

I’ve found that my employees are with my organization because we offer flexibility (in addition to competitive salaries, of course). As a working mom, I understand that the 9-5 mindset no longer works for most. Instead, we should promote a work atmosphere that encourages self-led hours while upholding high expectations for the work being produced. — Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

4. Unlimited PTO

Unlimited PTO is an important incentive that attracts top talent. We offer it at our workplace and find that, with very few restrictions, it works well. It’s a valuable incentive that benefits the entire company, which is why it’s not abused at our workplace. It also helps that we offer 100 percent remote work, which means that people use their PTO when necessary. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

5. Hybrid Work Models

A few days working from the office and a few days from home is a big draw for people. Employees appreciate the balance, and it creates a really good culture that helped us thrive during the pandemic. — Matthew Capala, Alphametic

6. Software Perks

I’ve received positive feedback from our team about our software policy. We buy business copies of popular software tools and make them available to all of our employees. Not only does this strategy help streamline communication because everyone’s using the same tools, but it also saves the team time and money. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Ownership

Running a product or a division, being responsible for a global initiative, or leading a project are common requests we hear from ambitious individuals who want to prove their worth and ensure their efforts don’t get discarded. This is one of the reasons startups are often attractive to experts coming from the corporate world. — Mario Peshev, DevriX

8. A Values-Driven Culture

Candidates want to feel like the culture of your company matches their values. If it doesn’t, they’ll find another company where it does. During the interview process, make sure candidates understand your company culture so both of you can decide if it’s the right fit. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Education Opportunities

In my experience, high-quality candidates are always looking for opportunities to expand their education. If you’re interested in offering this perk, you could take a few online classes and find ones that would benefit your employees. Make these classes optional for people who are interested in furthering their education. — John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

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