Improve Hiring Leverage by Including Travel Perks
For companies seeking top leadership or niche talent, adding travel benefits to the list of job perks can sweeten an offer for hire.
As expected, the talent market is tightening. With more jobs than candidates at certain levels, companies are once again looking for the right combination of salary, benefits, perks, and options to attract talent and welcome specialized skills in the door.
A recent article in The New York Times highlights the latest benefit area to be impacted by the so-called “war on talent.” At a certain income bracket, a higher salary is not a motivator. While incentive and investment options create additional revenue paths for executives, time—specifically, travel time—is increasingly seen as a driving factor in crafting a desirable offer.
There is only so much time in every day. Talent at all levels and ages seek to optimize time spent at work. Working with time-saving technology and effective workplace strategies helps companies and individuals boost productivity. Yet, across the board—despite best practices—work is increasingly seen as “always on,” leaving the concept of a work-life balance a charming artifact of the past.
Travel flexibility is becoming a strategy to attract and retain top talent. With the cost of replacing a C-Suite level exec easily exceeding the cost of their annual salary, more companies are opening the coffers to make offers that meet candidates and execs where they live—in the airport.
Travel options can be a sweet spot for high value talent
A vigorous economy contributes to better employment numbers and increasing air travel as business picks up. For those who crisscross the globe on a regular basis, better travel arrangements result in higher quality time spent traveling, and more personal time at home or at destinations of choice.
Here are a few possible areas for travel negotiation:
- Airline choice—no more price points: Traditionally, frequent fliers were at the mercy of company budgets. Travel managers often plot itineraries that take advantage of discounting, lower-fare connections, and even red-eye flights. With fewer flights through regional airports, scheduling is squeezed even further. As a negotiating point, candidates and current employees are looking for their choice of airlines based on safety record, scheduling, and on-time records.
- First class vs. coach: A time-honored perk is premium seating and service in first-class. As those seats and accompanying amenities become more expensive, guaranteed business class is of benefit to frequent fliers expecting comfort and hospitality during their time in the air.
- Travel schedules: In addition to choice of airline, executives are looking for travel arrangements that suit their overall schedule. Parents interested in more consistent time at home are asking to arrange meetings and flights to better fit their lifestyle choices. Inconvenient overnight trips are replaced by non-stop flights. Businesses willing to create that flexibility may have a winning hand to play when it comes to recruiting.
- Access to terminal and airport services: Airport amenities have gone sky high. Gourmet food onboard and off, exclusive VIP lounges, spas, yoga or exercise classes, pools, therapy animals, live music performances, museums, and chauffeured cars are just some of the amenities offered in airports around the world. For business class passengers who pass regularly through certain airports, there may be attractive perks to pass the time or boost productivity.
- Risk support: While all companies with traveling employees should provide security guidance and training on potential destination threats, high-level executive travelers can become targets on unfriendly soil. When acts of terrorism, corporate or national espionage, and political unrest pose a threat, the robust presence of protective travel strategies, training, and services could be a meaningful perk for C-level executives traveling abroad.
Reframing travel arrangements to provide the highest quality experience for a traveler could boost retention rates and tip the scales when making an offer. For high-flyers who spend a substantial part of their time traveling, concierge travel service could be the ticket.