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DirectlyApply Reveals Work Benefits Job-seekers Want

Posted: 27 July 2021

Author: DirectlyApply


  • 17.5% of job seekers surveyed chose health insurance as their top benefit

  • DirectlyApply surveyed 6,000 job seekers in the two weeks to 11 July 2021

  • Fewer than 1% want free gym membership

  • More women opted for working from home, flexible working and childcare

  • More men chose equal shared parental leave

NEW YORK, July 28, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Workers are in high demand in the USA, with 9.2 million active job openings recorded at the end of May by the Labor Department. Within this landscape, employers are trying to attract candidates with benefits such as signing bonuses and free gym membership.

However, according to original research by job site DirectlyApply, job seekers looking for their next position are less interested in such perks, and instead want healthcare, dental cover, paid vacations and other "fundamental benefits" in the post-Covid era.

DirectlyApply asked 6,000 job seekers to choose what they wanted most in a post-pandemic America from a list of 11 potential job benefits. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the impact of Covid, the results revealed that health insurance was the winning benefit with 17.5% of the vote.

Next most-popular was paid vacations (15.7%), and dental insurance came a close third at 15%. 401K pension coverage was the fourth most popular with 14%, while vision insurance came in fifth place with 11.9%, and life insurance came sixth with 10.4% of the votes.

At the opposite end of the scale, "softer" benefits were apparently low down on the priority lists of those surveyed during the first two weeks of July 2021. Fewer than 1% opted for free gym membership as their top benefit, while just 2.2% prioritised a signing bonus.

Just 0.5% of respondents chose equal parental leave as their preferred benefit, despite the shift to working from home and the childcare and homeschooling problems caused by the pandemic.

Similarly, only 2.9% of respondents chose childcare, and 3.1% opted for working from home as the benefit they would look for most in a potential workplace. Meanwhile, flexible working hours were the most attractive workplace benefit for just 6.2% of respondents.

There were slight variations in what male and female job seekers wanted most across the USA, with more women choosing working from home, flexible working and childcare than men. By contrast, more men than women opted for equal parental leave.

"In the post-Covid era job seekers are really most attracted to jobs offering fundamental benefits, like healthcare," said Dylan Buckley, co-founder of DirectlyApply.

"Employers are offering ‘softer’ benefits, such as gym memberships or discounts, but the job applicants we surveyed were only marginally interested in those things.

"Even benefits we’d have expected job seekers to have a greater appetite for as a result of the pandemic, such as childcare, flexible working or equal parental leave, were far outweighed by healthcare, paid vacation and dental care."

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