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May 7, 2019

In an era where companies are fighting over the best talent, many recruiters and companies feel like they can’t compete with the enormity of offers we see, especially in the tech industry.

It can be easy to feel helpless when recruiting, and HR has little wiggle room with the hiring budget. The good news is that there are free ways to increase your overall compensation package that may be the tipping point for your next offer.

Money is not the only form of compensation, time and culture are equally as valuable. If you don’t have flexibility with salary, work with the head of HR to provide more time flexibility and new policies. These additions can earn the company loyalty which means knowledge retained, higher morale, and dollars saved on recruitment.

Empower with flexible time:

  • Offer a paid or unpaid sabbatical after 3–4 years. Research shows that organizations benefit when employees take sabbaticals.
  • Make every-other Friday a half day during the summer months.
  • No meetings Monday’s. How to establish a meeting-free day each week. How much more relaxing is a Sunday night without meetings to prep for on Monday morning?
  • Volunteering days (VTO) — one day a month with a team member to volunteer at a local organization. SHRM shows that 70 percent believe that volunteer opportunities boost morale more than company mixers. Not convinced? Check out this article in Forbes.

Acts of Appreciation:

  • Encourage your team to bring a family member to work. How many of your family members know what you do? Bring your parents to work day was started by LinkedIn and since has numerous copy cats. The parent network can spread your brand better than millennials on Instagram. Involve the company events team to create activities and tours for one special day per year.
  • Handwritten thank you notes. Not only is this free, but In an age of digitalization, kind words for a job well done can go a long way. Read how this added to Home Depot’s CEO’s success.
  • Respecting coworkers time off. Create a culture that has back up plans for when people are out so they can indeed come back refreshed.


  • How to ask for a raise. Do you want your employees interviewing to get a counter offer to use as bargaining power? There is a more natural way for everyone. Give employees a guide on how to ask at your company. Yes, more people will ask so equip your managers with tools on how to work with the variety of situations that arise.
  • How is performance is managed? How will I know if I am doing well or poorly? All employees deserve to know how their work is being perceived. Create a culture of frequent feedback.

Feeling a part of a positive culture is invaluable and undoubtedly a sticking factor. A few ideas for increasing bonding at work:

  • Company debate days — do you work in healthcare, education, or another fascinating field? Create an old fashioned debate where both parties prepare for sides of an argument and are swapped with their position at the start of the discussion. Hand out some popcorn and invite the company for lunch hour or a 4 pm meeting no one will miss.
  • Trivia — Make it about the industry you’re in and give employees the ammunition to dig deeper into the facts that impact the company.
  • Have a kitchen and an employee that is a food nerd? Ask him/her to offer a cooking class for those interested.
  • Group classes — everyone wants to learn guitar, Spanish, etc. Organize groups for a lower rate on behalf of the employees. The company doesn’t need to pay, only leverage the advantage of numbers for a group discount.
  • Avoid – Rewards and activities around drinking (happy hour, wine tasting, brewery, etc.). More people than you may think don’t drink at all, and some may feel isolated from drinking focused events.
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