Ernst & Young makes LifeConcierge, a service that offers services such as finding a maid or taking a car into the service station, available to its 7,500 IT consultants. What’s the idea? Well, the Big 5 firm hopes by providing lifestyle “perks” like this, it will give its employees more quality personal time. Ultimately, the perks are designed to keep employees happy and employed at the firm.
The dot com companies that are sprouting up like weeds help employers offer benefits at a lower cost than traditional service companies. And, because they are offered via the Web, access is easy and efficient for both the employee and the employer.
For example, the company that offers the LifeConcierge benefit to employers, Circles, charges a per-user subscription fee depending on the level of customization required. This fee can range from $30 to $250 per employee per year. Then, employees receive two hours of any service free. If an employee wants additional time, they pay $10 per hour.
Another hot benefit employees are earning from employers comes in the form of employee perk portals. These sites are like online coupon books and usually offer employee discounts of 5% to 20% on a wide range of personal and leisure products such as movie and theater tickets. Generally, employers get out for very little cash because the portals charge suppliers to be part of their programs.
In a labor market that faces a 40-year unemployment low, employers have to continue to be innovative when it comes to employee benefits. The Internet offers lots of options and the cost, when compared to the cost of recruiting a new employee, is a bargain.