This week I turned the ripe old age of 29, ushering in the last year of my twenties before I turn the big Three O and have to gently let down a gaggle of girls that I’ve made “if we aren’t married by 30” pacts with. It’s a very reflective time, especially for those of us who live far away from family and old friends; it’s an emotional minefield of a day! Littered with Facebook posts, birthday cards and thoughtful presents designed to tug at the old heartstrings At the risk of sounding precious I’ve always been of the opinion that you should take your birthday off, this view has been compounded since working in recruitment We have to take the rough with the smooth on a daily basis but one day that I do not intend to take any rough is MY birthday! *crosses arms and pouts.
I am in a very fortunate situation as Jon Rice in his infinite wisdom declared all birthdays were to be given as a paid day off and for that, I am eternally grateful. On telling candidates about my ‘birtholiday’ I’m met with a chorus of “lucky!” or “must be nice” and I sometimes forget how good I have it. Gone are the days of having to shout the team morning tea!? That crisp 10 quid from my nan’s card squandered on feeding the hordes of scorned consultants that had to do the same on their birthday. There is a special place in hell reserved for the originator of that bizarre ritual.
It certainly isn’t commonplace in any industry and it got me thinking how those little things really do go a long way. My favorite part of my client’s meeting is when I’m asked “what do consultants want” I get to feel like the voice of the downtrodden, the hedonistic savior of John Q Consultant on the street. Cobalt as an agency is flying the flag during the winds of change and have taken note of what consultants are looking for implementing a ‘dress for the day’ policy. Ben Bright at Wilson Scott offers to pay for consultant’s gym membership. Grada Recruitment offers the chance to work from home if KPI’s are met and various agencies we work with offer a Microsoft Surface or Google Chromebook giving consultants the flexibility to work remotely.
These perks are useful during the decision-making process when salaries and environments are similar, it can even be the clincher. I remember a placement falling over at the business end due to a late request of a car park. Something which in other parts of the world would be a given, however, I remember clearly a story from this time last year when an offer of $90,000 was deemed “too low” for one owner of a park in the fortuitous local by AUT. Tracy Taylor of Central Reality noted that it is not uncommon for a park to sell for north of $100K. That is peak Auckland when your car park costs more than a detached 4 bedroom in Greymouth!
Perks are little sweeteners, the cherry on top of a cake that you are already pretty committed to acquiring. However, sometimes the perks even play a hand in establishing the culture, an agency that is willing to actively endorse your health or promotes reflection on a significant day it is safe to say has more than a fleeting interest in your wellbeing. What Perks have you enjoyed during your career? Feel free to comment as I have clients that are eager to know! Also, as far as industry perks are concerned the Pow Wow is next Thursday, all the free pizza & beer you can manage! End of the financial year so it’s a good time to celebrate or commiserate in a star-studded affair sponsored by our good pals at YUDU.