When it comes to recruiting the best female talent, it’s important for companies to be sure the employee benefits and work perks they’re offering include what works for working moms.
Faced with the challenges of juggling work, raising a family many working moms — especially Millenials — are struggling to manage their households and their careers. At a time when highly educated, highly skilled women are considering opting out or pausing their careers to start families, the more your organization can do to support working moms, the more successful you’ll be attracting and retaining female talent.
“Statistically, most caregivers are women, so having the benefit of flexible work schedules is a huge plus. As the search for top talent gets more difficult, companies will need to offer perks and benefits to hire and keep the best employees,” says Sharlyn Lauby from HR Bartender and president of ITM Group Inc. “Beyond that, organizations are beginning to realize that these types of perks and benefits (i.e. flexible work, learning, travel, etc.) create employee engagement. And employee engagement improves the bottom-line of the company.”
We talked to some recruiters and HR professionals on what they say are some of the best employee benefits and work perks for recruiting (and retaining) working moms.
- Flexible Work Schedules
The benefit of flexible work schedules is a huge plus when recruiting moms, says Lauby.Whether it’s control over their own schedule or the ability to work from home, moms are looking for more flexibility and freedom in their schedules.Companies that allow employees to take care of their caregiving responsibilities and still get their work done are very attractive,” she says.
- Concierge Services
A Captivate Network report found 93 percent of busy professionals admitted to taking care of personal chores during business hours. Meeting this trend head-on by providing resources to help your employees “home from work” is a tactic many leading companies have found to be a successful recruiting and engagement tool. Progressive employers are turning to services like Care.com’s Workplace Solutions benefits to connect employees with solutions for all of their work-life needs, from nannies and after-school sitters to errand-runners, dog-walkers and housekeepers. Lifestyle and convenience benefits like these are attractive to all employees, especially for working parents, whose time is especially pressed due to family responsibilities.
- Family Care Benefits
A recent survey of Care.com members found that 64 percent of working parents worry about their kids every minute of the day. And there’s nothing more stressful than worrying about child care. So when a company offers employer-provided child care solutions, it can be a game-changer for working moms. Whether it’s finding the perfect nanny for your family or a last-minute when a child becomes sick or their regular sitter can’t work, employers have found helping working parents find child care solutions removes a layer of friction from their lives and lets these important employees be more present and engaged.
- Unlimited Paid Time Off
With the line between professional and personal time becoming increasingly blurred, unlimited vacation time has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years. Today, employers are increasingly meeting the demand by employees for control over how they spend their time off, often times merging all forms of paid time off into a single, unlimited PTO bucket. For the working mom, unlimited paid time off helps navigate everything from school vacation weeks, not missing a child’s school performance, getting them to and from an activity and handling sick days when backup coverage isn’t available. Having the freedom over how they use their time off is a very appealing option to moms in the workforce today.
- Paid Maternity Leave
With only about 13 percent of employees having access to paid parental leave, paid maternity leave is still not the norm. Currently the Family Medical Leave Act – known as FMLA – offers 12 weeks of unpaid job protection for some employees, depending on company size and length of employment. The lack of paid leave is a huge concern for new moms, who want to take time to bond and recover after childbirth, but must balance those desires with what their family can afford.
- On-Site Amenities
Managing life as a working parent is hard, but one way employers can help is by providing on-site amenities for employees. Free food, on-site manicures, nap rooms, fitness centers and yoga studios are just a few of the popular work perks companies offer. They sound like little things, but little things add up. Not having to worry about what you’re doing for lunch or when you can find time to get to your local nail salon is a borderline luxury for many busy working moms.
- A Private Place to Pump
For many new moms, one of the most challenging aspects of transitioning back to work after maternity leave is pumping at work. So when a company goes above and beyond the legal requirements, it’s super appealing for new moms or even women who are planning to have kids. Some of the best places to work for moms not only offer a private place to pump, but have mother’s rooms equipped with private refrigerators for breast milk, comfortable seating and other amenities. Not only does providing a private and comfortable place for nursing mothers to pump serve a functional need, but it sends a strong message about a company’s commitment to supporting working moms.
- Holistic Employee Wellness Initiatives
In the modern workplace, a wellness program is no longer the exception but the rule. And today’s working moms are looking for wellness initiatives that support the whole person — from on-site fitness centers to stress management and wearables. But these programs are more than just a trendy recruiting tool; modern wellness programs can do more than trim waistlines and health care costs – they can be an integral part of your company culture and your employer brand.