The race for talent is on. Companies are offering many different perks and benefits to stand out from the crowd. But are these what candidates and employees really value? Or just putting lipstick on a pig? In this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup, we're sharing some of the latest thinking around perks, benefits, and work style. 

1) Wedding expenses and Tesla leases: The arms race in employee perks from Washington Post

"Nick DeMarco runs a small biotech startup in Raleigh, N.C., that makes scientific instruments. But what got his company, Practichem, attention from CNBC's "Power Lunch," the Huffington Post, Fortune and other media outlets last week wasn't the innovative products he's making. It was his promise to lease Tesla Model 3s to employees when they become available. "The world’s changed a lot, and technology people are really hard to bring in," DeMarco, who has 10 full-time employees and is trying to double that number with new hires, said in an interview Monday. He believes spending money to lease the wildly popular cars -- which are not expected to be available until at least the end of next year -- will turn out to be a smarter recruiting investment than funneling more money to headhunters. Though he sees the leases as rewards for good performance to help retain current workers, he's also hopeful the media coverage and word-of-mouth from employees will help him hire people with the skills he needs in what he calls an "esoteric field." "We're not sexy," he says."

2) How to Make Remote Work Actually Work from Hubspot

"One of my favorite things about working remotely -- which I do a few times a month -- is the freedom to get comfortable. When I work from home, I'm usually find myself in one of three positions: sitting up at the table, laying down with my laptop, or buried in a pillow avalanche on my couch. (Sound familiar to anyone?). While most offices have a few full-time remote workers -- and probably a few that operate like I do -- the idea of more remote employees may be one companies need to get used to. Why is remote work becoming such a big deal? Well, from where I'm sitting (currently "sitting up at the table"), it's simple: Because good candidates are asking for it, and technology's making it an easier thing to demand -- no matter what the position entails."

3) Why Every Employee Should Have Unlimited Vacation Days from Forbes

"Since 2004, Netflix employees have taken as many vacation days as they’ve wanted. They have the freedom to decide when to show up for work, when to take time off, and how much time it will take them to get the job done. As far as I can tell, this hasn’t hurt Netflix one bit. Since instituting the policy, it’s grown its market cap to over $51 billion. Just because there’s flexibility at Netflix doesn’t mean it lacks accountability. Employees have to keep their managers in the loop, and they’re expected to perform at a very high level. High performance is so ingrained into Netflix culture that they reward adequate performance with a generous severance package."

4) Two New Employee Benefits Aimed at Millennials from Barron's

"Finovate Group, a Seattle-based research firm specializing in banking and financial technology, produces four conferences a year that offer a great way to see what innovations are in store for consumers. Each company gets a whopping seven minutes to demonstrate its wares, which makes for a dense load of information for the audience to process. In mid-May, I attended FinovateSpring 2016 in San Jose, Calif., and saw 71 product demos in just two days. There were about 10 demos that stood out, but two in particular struck me as potentially revolutionary ways for employers to attract and retain millennial employees by addressing significant personal financial problems. Student Loan Genius (studentloangenius.com) and PayActiv (payactiv.com) both could appeal to recent college graduates trying to launch careers. The first helps in paying off bruising student-loan debt, and the second aids in opening up cash flow to pay unexpected bills and contribute to savings."

5) Will remote working kill the office? from Information Age

"Nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK employees desire the option to work from home and just 35% want to work from the office full time, a new study has found. The situation is reflected across the world. In Randstad’s global survey of 200,000 workers, 64% said they would like to work remotely at least occasionally. Some UK employees, however, desire a lot more – with 14% of respondents, and 18% of people aged 45-65, wanting to work from home every day. Understandably, given the stage of their careers, a smaller percentage of UK respondents aged 18-24 (11%) said they would like to work from home all the time. Globally, by contrast, just 8% of people aged 18-24 said they would prefer to work from home all the time."

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruiting strategy offerings.

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