Research carried out by Perkbox, Europe’s fastest growing employee experience platform and TalentPool, the UK’s leading talent matching platform, has uncovered an interesting trend in employer recruitment techniques. Employers are using team perks – group activities that boost morale and strengthen relationships, over individual  ones in a bid to attract top young talent. What’s more, young professionals today seem to like to prioritise ‘team’ over ‘individual’ in all of their everyday working practices, might employer-employee relations be more in sync than ever before?

The research, which analysed 8,700 job descriptions targeting millennials and Gen Zs across the UK in the past 12 months, has found that the most publicised team perks this year by UK employers are ‘social events’ such as a team board game session or quiz night, listed in 23% of job descriptions, followed by team lunches (15%) and Friday drinks (11%).

Interestingly, many individual perks – a lot of which were commonly used in the past to attract talent – rarely appeared in the job descriptions studied and no longer seem to be considered a make or break factor to attract young professionals. ‘Cycle to work’ schemes for example, were only mentioned in 7% of  job descriptions, followed by season ticket loans (4%). Birth-a-holidays – a day off on your birthday (2%), yoga (1%) and meditation (0%).

An exception to this trend was private healthcare, an individual and more ‘traditional’ perk which was listed in 28% of the job specs studied.

It seems employers are more tuned in than ever with today’s young professionals, as the research uncovered a similar trend when it comes to employees’ desired working environments. The research which polled 7,400 young professionals found a trend for prioritising ‘team’ over ‘individual’ in today’s workplace. When asked ‘which of the following do you think is the most important to succeed?’ – ‘Building strong interpersonal relationships’ came out top of the pile at 35%. This was followed by ‘Coming up with new, innovative ideas’ at 27% and ‘Working efficiently to hit your targets’ at 26%.

Similarly, when it comes to the type of environment they work best in, team came top, with 30% of respondents answering that they work best ‘Where employees operate as individuals, but are still focused on succeeding as a team’ and 28% stating their working environment of choice would be ‘Where building relationships and collaboration are crucial to success’.

In other words, providing greater room for collaboration – be this in the form of perks, resources or leadership principles, seems to be the way forward to attract talent in today’s day and age – and this is not only something employers see this way, but employees too.

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox says:

“There’s clearly a trend emerging. The next generation of our workforce are seeing their colleagues as more than just that – colleagues are building much stronger bonds between each other than in the past. As employers, creating this genuine sense of trust, companionship and collaboration requires investment in terms of time and budget for activities such as team bonding exercises. The truth is, it pays off over time and is perhaps one of  the strongest and most valuable retention tools you can ever allow your employees to develop.

Andrew Lavelle, Co-founder of TalentPool says:

“There is an increasing competition for talent across companies of all shapes and sizes. Employers are offering more than just traditional benefits to stand out in the market today; not only to attract but also to retain the best talent. And there is definitely a stronger focus now more than ever before on a collaborative company culture. Millennials are looking for more than just a well paid job – they are looking for balance, development and purpose in their career. For this, the right working environment is key.”