The perks conundrum- The perks employees want vs those employers think they want

Perkbox, Europe’s fastest growing employee experience platform has partnered with TalentPool, the UK’s leading talent matching platform, to analyse the key differences between the perks employees desire the most in today’s workplace versus those that employers advertise the most in job descriptions.

Based on a sample of 2,315 demographically diverse working Brit and 8,716 job descriptions, the research points towards some promising news. Mainly, that when it comes to perks, employers and employees are to a great extent on the same wavelength.

The top four perks according to employees were all linked to social events – with extracurricular clubs ranking first (eg. arts and crafts, book clubs) followed by pool table, ping pong table and office sports teams (e.g. football and netball).

For employers, on the other hand, social events like the above were the fourth most listed perk in the job descriptions studied.

Similarly, flexible working ranked in a comparable position in both employer job specs and employee preferences. It ranked 11th in the list of perks that employees want, while for employers, it appeared 8th as the most listed benefit in job descriptions.

However, this consistency in employer-employee preferences wasn’t visible throughout the entire findings. When it came to private healthcare, it was a completely different story.

Private healthcare was highly promoted by employers whose jobs specs were analysed, but it only ranked 15th in the list of top employee preferences. Similarly, Friday drinks only came in 38th place for employees but were advertised in 958 (41%) of the job descriptions studied.

Finally, free tea and coffee, a simple perk for employers to provide – which would help explain why it was mentioned in such a huge portion of the job descriptions analysed (47%) – was a perk appreciated by 84% of the employees surveyed.

Surprisingly, the more ‘millennial driven perks’ such as yoga and nap pods ranked nearer to the bottom of the list for both employees and employers in this research.

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox says:

It’s promising to see employees and employers on the same wavelength for a significant number of perks. However, it is also clear that there is more work to be done. With the key to a successful perks and benefits programme being communicating and asking your employees what they would really value in the workplace, these results are very interesting and relevant to employers everywhere. After all, it’s a waste of both time and resources to provide perks that won’t be utilised or appreciated by your staff.”

Tom Davenport, Managing Director at TalentPool says:  

“Companies today are working harder than ever before to stand out from the crowd by offering their employees the incentives that they think they want. However, what this research reveals is that they’re not quite hitting the mark yet. Employers need to be listening to what their prospective and current employees actually want. For millennials, in particular, the perks a company offers can determine whether or not they apply for their job, so it’s key for employers to be getting this right.”



(Perkbox Data)


(TalentPool Data)

1. Extracurricular clubs 1. Free Tea & Coffee
2. Pool table 2. Training
3. Ping pong table 3. Private Healthcare
4. Office sports team 4. Social Events
5. Video games 5. Bonus
6. Birth-o-holiday 6. Free/ Subsided gym membership
7. Discounts on holidays, flights and hotels 7. Team Lunch
8. Discounts at supermarkets 8. Flexible Working
9. Free coffee and hot drinks 9. Friday Drinks
10. Discounts on restaurants and takeaways 10. Cycle to Work Scheme