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Tight Labor Market Creates Flood of New Perks

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Time & Attendance Software: Tight Labor Market & Perks | Time Rack

Refresher Course: Keeping up with the current job market means offering new perks – and no, it’s not always craft beer at work

The national unemployment rate continues to remain the lowest it’s been in decades, and coupled with low levels of job creation in the first part of 2019, the competition for good workers is fierce.

In the restaurant sector where The Wall Street Journal reports the job market is the tightest it’s been in years, recruiters are struggling to attract students and other workers willing to take those jobs.

“More than 7.5 million restaurant and hotel workers quit last year, the most since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began releasing that metric in 2001,” the paper reported July 21.

The story describes a heightened demand for restaurant workers that has led to an array of perks more typically associated with Silicon Valley's coddled young developers – and then some.

From college tuition reimbursement, to flexible payday schedules, to extended parental leave, restaurants may be setting the new standard for spoiling your employees.

Going Beyond Minimum Wage

Some of the examples in the story include fast food giant McDonald’s which says it is allocating $150 million from federal tax code savings to pay bonuses and provide college scholarships for employees and their families, and franchisees of Applebee’s and Burger King developing game-like apps to offer incentives like free meals and scheduling perks for high-performing workers.

Waiters, cooks and hosts aren't the only workers flush with newfound perks: Biotech workers at Genentech in San Francisco are pampered with car washes, haircuts, spa treatments and an on-site dentist, according to Money magazine. Meanwhile, Facebook offers free housing and health care coverage for interns – who reportedly earn a median salary of $8,000 a month.

Other businesses are taking up the trend. For some companies, it's a more generous approach to work/life balance that allows employees to work from home or set a flexible schedule. These types of perks have the added benefit of not costing business owners anything.

But whatever the perk, the trend is clear and a growing number of job candidates are taking such benefits into strong consideration when weighing job offers.  A Glassdoor poll found that 57% of job candidates listed perks as their top consideration in the decision of whether to take a job.

Know the Rules Governing Employee Perks

It's not enough to simply know your craft beers, or to keep up with the Billboard list of the hottest concert tickets. Employers who want to stay competitive in today’s labor market have to keep up with the rules and regulations.

The IRS says fringe benefits like entertainment, sports tickets and vacations are generally included in an employee’s gross income and can be subject to income tax withholding, barring certain rules and exceptions. You may have to do some homework before you move out the file cabinets to make room for a wine bar or add a massage therapist to the payroll.

Or you could do something nice for yourself at the same time and take advantage of HR software and service that puts the answers at your fingertips.   

Time Rack HR is the Perk You Give Yourself

With Time Rack HR, you have single sign-on access to a vast library of HR knowledge and expertise, from a searchable database of laws and regulations to a library of templates and forms for everything from job descriptions to employee handbooks. You'll also have access to on-call experts. It's all there in an embedded module that you can access whenever you need it, saving you time and money you can put to better use.  Like scoring those Beyoncé tickets before your competitors do. Hurry.

Contact us to learn more about Single Sign-On HR Solutions