Fringe Benefits and Employer Branding: Which Occupations Offer Most Benefits & Salary Alternatives?

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The salary is an important reason for employees when it comes to a job offer. But fringe benefits are often more attractive to an employer.

Fringe Benefits and Employer Branding: Which Occupations Offer Most Benefits & Salary Alternatives? Fringe Benefits and Employer Branding: Which Occupations Offer Most Benefits & Salary Alternatives?

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Employer Branding: The right fringe benefits increase employer attractiveness

But how could coveted candidates decide when two similarly paid job offers are on the table? In this case, it is often not the "hard facts". Working atmosphere, social image of a company and colleagues also play a very important role in the choice of the employer. But there is another aspect: fringe benefits. The term comes from English and describes benefits for employees who are not paid as salary.

Such methods are widely used in the USA. Especially in larger ones Company like corporations and large medium-sized companies, benefits have also become established in Germany. Why should employees even get involved in these benefits? Ultimately, what matters is not so much that a company offers benefits. It should be more important, which nature these are.

Why do companies attract with benefits?

Benefits for employees ultimately fulfill two basic functions in business practice. On the one hand, they highlight the operation. In the meantime, the situation on the labor market is such that some companies have to fight very hard for applicants. This means that the number of qualified specialists in the market has fallen dramatically in some sectors. Benefits are a "bait" to attract candidates to a job.

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At the same time, the benefits lead to a stronger commitment of employees to companies. Especially the reimbursement of childcare or the school hoard are just two practice-relevant examples. And the benefits can also be used as part of a bonus system - for example, to reward high motivation.

But also from the point of view of the employees, the benefits are positively noticeable. For benefits in kind according to § 8 EStG an exemption from 44 Euro per month. Up to a sum of 528 Euro per year, the employer can grant benefits to employees and these remain tax-free. Thus, in some cases, the benefits can even outweigh a salary increase.

Which benefits are generally possible?

Tank vouchers have long been the most popular employee benefit for many companies. In the meantime, many workers can only lure them out of the oven with restrictions. What benefits are common practice today?

  • Pension benefits: A very popular option for some companies is the precautionary measures. Contributing to old-age provision can be just as much a part of this as group insurance - for example, against accidents during leisure time.
  • Smartphones: Latest mobile phones are expensive. Anyone who wants to be up-to-date as an employee always invests several hundred euros a year. In practice, companies can afford the expensive communication technology - as a service phone. However, clear rules should be formulated here as to how employees can be reached after work.
  • Childcare: Compatibility of family and work - repeatedly propagated, often not implemented by politics consistently enough. In order to allow employees to concentrate on their job with a clear conscience, companies now and again offer the transfer of childcare costs for their offspring. Some companies have even started to set up their own day care centers.
  • Mobility: Being mobile at the expense of the company - why not? Especially the company car is still popular. In cities, a model gains in importance: the speech is from the service bicycle. The latter is often just as fast as the car and the healthier alternative.
  • securities: This benefit has found its way from the USA to Germany. Some companies give their employees a small share package each year. Anyone who has been with the company for many years, thus comes to a decent volume of securities. Sometimes these packages are worth more than a whole year's salary.

What extra benefits are there?

Discounted own products and cheap tickets in local transport for public transport employees are two examples of internal benefits. But even outside the company, employees can benefit from benefits.

For example, some companies offer the payment of benefits on a prepaid credit card. Although this is then no longer completely tax-free, but may be cheaper than the current salary payment.

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Benefits for certain occupational groups

In addition, benefits may also result from employees belonging to a particular occupational group. The best example here are certainly officials who often find it easier to get a loan. Due to the non-cancellability of their job, the conditions are often discounted. Here, however, caution is required: Some formerly licensed professions, such as postmen, are now part of the normal private sector. For them, corresponding benefits no longer apply, but the terms are just like all borrowers simply determined by the credit rating.

And the health of employees can also be turned into benefits. Companies can spend a certain sum on health management per year. No one has claimed that these can not be vouchers for a gym or something similar.

Benefits by size of the farm

Business benefits sweeten the signature under the employment contract. To what extent is the portfolio impacted by the size of the company? If you apply to the roofer around the corner, you may find astonished faces when the topic is discussed during the job interview. It is certainly not possible to negotiate benefits or bonuses.

In general, it is certainly more difficult for individual companies and small companies with a workforce of up to 10 people to set up corresponding benefits. Medium-sized companies or IT agencies competing with other companies will tend to pull different registers here. Much more room for maneuver is provided by big players: companies with international renown and large SMEs are able to exploit a much larger pool of benefits.

Which benefits are possible?

What are their possibilities? The range goes from:

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  • Further education
  • health Management
  • Assumption of the care costs
  • Discount or gift voucher
  • Credit discounts.

Which options are used in detail depends not only on the size of the operation. Often the industry is an essential aspect that influences the way the benefits are generated. Background: Companies can offer their employees cheaper products - which is very popular in practice.

Benefits according to specific industries

What are the benefits and benefits in individual sectors? Maybe there are no differences? In practice, exactly the opposite is the case. Germany is still one of those countries where the mode of corporate benefits depends heavily on the industry.

Example car manufacturer: What is more obvious than to offer workers a discount on their own product? Straight leasing returns or annual cars are very popular as a contribution in kind in the benefit programs of the automotive industry. What are the discounts, varies mostly by manufacturer and model. A discount of 20 percent on a new car, however, is quite realistic.

What are the benefits in other sectors?

For banks a typical perk is discounts on loans. Means: employees of a bank branch, for example, finance the car purchase cheaper.

Or move into the home with a discount. This form of benefits is common to the industry. And in the mobile sector, there is a discount on new smartphones, while the retailer is always on shopping vouchers.

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Conclusion: Benefits pay off - for bosses and employees

The days when companies only had to flick their fingers and a vacancy was filled, are over. In the meantime, these posts sometimes remain unoccupied for months. Benefits are ultimately a way to be interesting for employees and "picking out". Benefits and benefits in kind have even more advantages. These include employee retention and performance management.

On the other hand, a benefit can also pay off for employees. Especially the assumption of childcare costs, a participation in their medical expenses or the payment in pension funds are interesting examples. And the whole thing has another plus point: while more salary is always fully taxable, the benefits in kind must be partly not taxed. A new smartphone or company car will appear in a different light - and can be a real win-win situation.

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  1. Luke Habib

    Thanks for the good article and the great overview!
    Benefits are quite a good way for an employer to become more attractive. But these should also fit in with the company and, above all, make sense for the employees! It should be considered, however, whether benefits should not be set individually.
    More about employer and employee branding at

    • Simone Janson

      Dear Mr. Habib, thank you for the good, exciting comment.

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