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IRF White Paper: Benefits and Rewards Help Attract Talent

A research paper recently published by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) suggests that companies with compelling benefits and incentive programs should promote them in their recruitment advertising. 
Companies that promote benefits and rewards, including incentive travel and learning opportunities, in their job advertising attract 300% more applicants than those that do not, according to a 2017 analysis of 93,000 job ads, conducted by recruitment advertiser Appcast. The report found that application rates increased to 22.5% from 7.4% simply by highlighting benefits and rewards in job advertising. 
IRF White Paper 2022
These and other related findings were reported in the IRF white paper and meta-analysis of research authored by Co-Research Director of the IRF and principal of the Center for Human Capital Innovation Allan Schweyer and Ashley Whilllans of the Harvard Business School: “Academic Research in Action: Signaling Theory and the Role of Incentives and Rewards in Attracting Talent.”
According to the white paper, “Our research found that ads and employer branding containing descriptions of benefits and rewards (including their cash value) signal empathy and a caring culture and appear to trigger the same positive response as ads aimed at consumers’ emotions. Why? According to decades of academic research into signaling theory in circumstances of information asymmetry (e.g. the employer knows far more than the potential applicant) the disadvantaged party looks for signs or ‘signals.’” The white paper asserts that “candidates appear to look for and respond to signals that hint at what it might be like to work for an organization.” 
In a separate study conducted by Schweyer and colleagues at the Harvard Business School, “we found that job seekers pay even more attention to advertised non-cash benefits and rewards when those benefits are described clearly, including the cash value of the rewards. Importantly, this appears to cause job seekers to cast those potential employers in a more caring light, and to assume better work-life balance in those firms. In these cases (well-described benefits/rewards), applicants expressed up to 50% more interest in positions than they did similar advertisements (without listed benefits/rewards) from other employers. This held true even when those other positions offered clearly better total starting compensation.” 

The report advises organization to:
Promote their job openings with clear descriptions of the range of non-cash rewards they offer. “When comparing job options as a potential candidate, it is easy to measure and compare salaries but often confusing and difficult to compare benefits and rewards. The more rewards signal a positive, caring culture – a message many non-cash rewards convey – the more applicants the firm is likely to attract, even at starting salaries below competitors.”
Consider using reward programs to encourage employee brand ambassadorship, such as posting positive reviews (that include mention of non-cash benefits and rewards) on sites like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com.
Create quick ‘day-in-the-life' video clips for the career pages on your website. “Consider rewarding and recognizing members of your talent acquisition team who take the time to follow up with prospects who visit your career site but do not apply to a job opening. Incentivize your high performers and/or best brand ambassadors to represent your organization at live or virtual career fairs. Remember too that firms often lose their best prospects to competitors with a more efficient hiring process. In this case reward interview panels and hiring managers who reduce ‘time-to-offer,’ especially in your most competitive, hard-to-fill positions.”
The report concludes. “Our analysis reveals that work environments plagued by disrespect, mistrust, and exclusion drive more than ten times the attrition than drivers related to compensation and other factors.” 
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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement 

A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
Training and Certification
Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level. 
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification. 
A CEO's Guide to Engagement Across the Enterprise cover
The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
In Print: 
This is the definitive implementation guide to Stakeholder Capitalism, written specifically to provide CEOs and their leadership teams a concise overview of the framework, economics, and implementation process of a CEO-led strategic and systematic approach to achieving success through people.  (123 pages, $15.99)
The first and most comprehensive book on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Includes 36 chapters detailing how to better integrate and align engagement efforts across the enterprise. (312 pages, $36.) 
10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
•  Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.
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