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Do job seekers value salary or employee benefits more?

Even though salaries are the main reward for work, employee benefits are becoming more and more important. Job hunters are constantly seeking employment opportunities that align with their career goals and provide excellent employee benefits packages. But do job seekers care more about salary or employee benefits? In this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article, we look at what candidates value more and how this information can help employers.

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Salary and employee benefits 101

Salary is a fixed compensation that employees receive from an employer for regular work or services. The set amount is typically paid on a monthly basis, though some salaries are paid annually. The average salary in Hong Kong is around HKD $36,600 per month, with the lowest to highest salary averages ranging from HKD $9,260 to HKD $163,000. These average monthly salaries include housing, transport, and other benefits.

Employee benefits, on the other hand, are types of compensation provided to employees in addition to salaries and wages. Health insurance, life insurance, vacation leave, and retirement benefits are some common employee benefits. Conversely, unique employee benefits include unlimited time off and professional development opportunities. Unique employee benefits can also become common. For example, more companies are offering flexible working arrangements since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s worth noting that benefits and perks are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Benefits describe non-wage compensation provided to employees while perks are incentives or rewards offered in addition to salary and benefits. Employers typically offer perks to enhance the work experience, such as free food, gym memberships, and employee discounts.

Why employers continuously strive to offer better benefits

While higher pay continues to entice those looking for work, employers that offer competitive benefits attract attention from a wide talent pool. Better job satisfaction is one of the many reasons why employers aim to provide better employee benefits. An SHRM study found that 61% of the workforce believed benefits improved their job satisfaction.

Since many Millennials and Gen X leave their jobs because of better compensation and benefits, it only makes sense for employers to provide both. Offering employee benefits that help employees achieve work-life balance, experience financial security, and plan for the future can increase employee engagement and morale at work.

Candidates always have their eyes open for jobs that provide better pay and employee benefits. Many job seekers carefully consider the perks and benefits included in a job offer before accepting it. By offering a competitive salary and benefits, companies will naturally be more appealing to job seekers.

There are many reasons why employee benefits are important for employees and employers alike. Benefits are essential for attracting and retaining top talent. They can help inspire loyalty within the workforce which is beneficial since employee turnover is not only disruptive but costly as well. Employers that provide competitive employee benefits packages and salaries will have a more satisfied, and likely loyal, workforce.

Do employees prefer salary or employee benefits?

Salary has long been the main way to compensate for work, yet employee benefits are a growing demand. So which do employees actually prefer? Turns out the majority (80%) of employees value additional benefits more than a salary increase. Employees are beginning to prioritize employee benefits more than salary since benefits offer a better experience and improve job satisfaction.

Employee benefits that are sought after by employees are continually evolving based on employees’ needs and their life context. For example, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seen many employees shift their priorities as they prepare for post-pandemic living. In 2021, health insurance, mental health benefits, and flexible working arrangements are some of the top employee benefits.

A closer look at global employee benefits trends with Pacific Prime

Pacific Prime’s latest Global Employee Benefits Report 2021 dives deep into the five main global employee benefits trends this year. Beginning with a summary of the key trends, the report continues with an in-depth analysis of each. The report is loaded with interesting case studies, statistics, and illustrations, along with actionable tips for employers.

This year’s industry trends, which are based on insights from our employee benefits specialists and insurance partners, include:

  • Embracing the hybrid workplace model
  • Mental health benefits are a priority
  • Taking a holistic approach to employee wellbeing
  • Aligning employee benefits with diversity, equity, and inclusion goals
  • The flexible future of employee benefits

By looking at the direction the employee benefits sector is headed, the report helps employers, HR teams, and employees prepare for the future. Download your free copy of the report to explore the global employee benefits trends in 2021.

Looking to enhance your employee benefits in Hong Kong? As a leading employee benefits specialist and health insurance broker, Pacific Prime Hong Kong offers tailored solutions for your company and employees. Contact us for a free consultation today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
​​Jantra Jacobs is a content writer at Pacific Prime. On a typical workday, she writes and edits articles, guides, and anything else word-related. She loves creating content that is both easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

In her free time, she’s likely to be writing poetry and prose, geeking out on her latest interests, reading, or practicing yoga.