tranzition executive recruitment

Remuneration and Employee Benefits

Packaging for the Attraction and Retention of Quality Staff


 Traditionally, remuneration has involved financial compensation for the performance of labour, and rates of pay have been determined largely by the perceived value of that labour, coupled with the business’s ability to pay.


In the current business environment, market forces still exert a powerful influence over remuneration, especially with the growing need to attract and retain quality staff.  However, today’s remuneration, although still based around a core salary component, is significantly more complex than its traditional definition suggests.


The challenge for employers is to find the right balance of compensation, incentives and benefits to attract and retain quality staff, while keeping one eye on the market, and the other on the business’s bottom line.




What follows is an overview of the range of benefits an organisation may consider when designing and delivering a competitive remuneration package.


·         Salary/wages;

·         Overtime – either paid or exchanged for time off in lieu;

·         Allowances - eg: qualification allowance for holding a particular qualification/accreditation/registration, tool allowance for providing own tools/equipment, etc;

·         Loadings - eg: market loading payable to an employee with skills highly regarded and sought after by the market;

·         Performance pay/bonuses - based on individual, team, or organisational performance, or as a reward for the success of a particular project;

·         Superannuation;

·         Leave entitlements - eg: some organisations, such as those requiring shiftwork, remote area work, or significant work-related travel, offer greater recreation leave benefits as compensation for adverse working conditions;

·         Access to a vehicle, mobile phone, laptop computer, etc - for private as well as professional use;

·         Salary packaging schemes - which may include packaging of the items above, as well as a wide range of other expenses, eg: employee superannuation contributions, mortgage repayments, children’s school fees, etc;

·         Access to a corporate health plan; canteen; gym; sporting, recreational, or professional club membership; etc - fully funded by employer, subsidised by employer, or available through salary packaging; 

·         Corporate share schemes;

·         Support for personal and professional training and development (education, accreditation, conferences, seminars, etc), including funding for attendance and/or resources, provision of paid study/conference leave, etc.


It is clear from the list above that employers have a number of options to consider when structuring their remuneration and employee benefit packages.  The range of benefits, and extent to which they are made available, will vary depending on the size, nature, and culture of the business, its financial position, and the impact of market forces (including remuneration rates and the range of benefits offered by competitors). 


When developing a remuneration and employee benefits package, there are a number of logical steps to be followed:


1.    Align remuneration and benefits strategy to corporate strategy - link the way and extent to which employees are rewarded to the achievement of organisational goals (ie: ensure you reward performance and outcomes congruent with those goals).

2.    Review internally - realistically consider what can be offered within size, economic and administrative/logistical constraints; and consult with existing employees to determine what benefit options would be most attractive.

3.    Review externally - monitor the remuneration and employee benefits packages offered by direct competitors, others in the industry, businesses in other industries; consult with recruitment companies etc.

4.    Design a remuneration and employee benefits package/range of options that will be attractive to current and potential staff, is able to be implemented and administered effectively, and will enable the business to become/remain competitive in the market for high quality staff.

5.    Implement, communicate, and support the strategy effectively - ensure that the package is accessible to staff, understood by all, and properly administered.

6.    Monitor and evaluate - review the effectiveness of the remuneration and employee benefits package by monitoring employee satisfaction and retention rates, success in attracting new staff, cost of providing and administering the package, etc.

7.    Adapt – an organisation’s goals and strategies will change from time-to-time, as will market forces and the consequent effectiveness of particular remuneration and employee benefits packages in attracting and retaining quality staff; therefore it is recommended that remuneration packages be reviewed regularly and revised to meet changing organisational, employee and market demands.



Although effectively researched, designed, implemented, communicated, administered and reviewed remuneration and employee benefits packages contribute to a business’s ability to attract and retain quality staff, they will be impeded in the achievement of this goal without a sound organisational culture and effective management practices.  It is therefore recommended that organisations consider remuneration strategy within the context of broader organisational strategies and their effectiveness. 





By Trevor Neville, Principal, and Kirsten Ferguson (Human Resource Management Consultant), TranZition Professional and Executive Recruitment, Level 3 Waterfront Place, 1 Eagle Street, Brisbane Qld 4000. Email:  Web:


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