What egg freezing, learning stipends, and ClassPass all have in common

Companies have been tailoring their perks towards specific groups of people; it’s not just one-size-fits-all on-site gyms or even free meals anymore.

With unemployment at historic lows and employees leaving their jobs – or even ghosting them – for greener pastures, companies are getting creative with perks to retain the employees they have and attract new ones. And with good reason: cheaper than cash, they tend to provide that much sought-after work-life balance.

But companies have been tailoring their perks towards specific groups of people; it’s not just one-size-fits-all on-site gyms or even free meals anymore.

1. Cherry lets startup employees choose their own perks

Instead of handing out a standard perks package that only a few people use, Slackbot marketplace Cherry is letting employees take their pick of the benefits they get from their company, reports TechCrunch. Options aren’t standard – try pricey workout subscriptions like ClassPass and Peloton, food delivery services like Postmates, and creature comforts like Netflix and Spotify Premium. CEO Gillian O’Brien told TechCrunch that companies were wasting money and could save by “just giving everyone this budget and letting them choose [perks] for themselves.”


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2. A select few employers will help you pay off your student loans

It’s a great perk if you work at the handful of companies that are offering loan repayment, says Fast Company. Unfortunately, only about 4% of companies do this. Other employers, however, offer cheaper, yet still helpful, options, like student loan consolidation and refinancing. According to a survey of 5,000 Millennials by LaSalle Network, what they want the most from their benefits package is direct financial help, either in the form of a 401k with a company match or student loan assistance.

3. Learning stipends are a hot perk because they promote career growth

Money that you use to grow and learn is very attractive, reports Forbes. The more you know, the more it adds to your skill set and potential career growth. Always wanted to learn SEO? Wouldn’t it be nice if your company paid for a course so you could add it to your resume – or use it to help get a promotion?

4. Companies fight to retain new moms with posh perks

If they’re not given support by their job, new mothers are in danger of dropping out of the workforce. Inc. reports that some companies have stepped up to back them to the max during that crucial time, with perks like breast milk shipping for moms on business travel. Qualcomm offers discounts on the teched-out “Snoo” crib that lets the infant – and the mother – sleep, and Patagonia offers paid travel for caregivers for mothers on business trips.

5. Kindbody is a low-cost fertility startup offering egg freezing and IVF to companies who want to offer it as an employee perk

Freezing your eggs typically costs $10,000, and the founders of Kindbody’s mission is to make it more affordable for both private individuals and the companies who use their egg freezing services as an employee benefit, according to Inc. They’ve got the cost down to $6,000 currently.

Perks keep people happy and encourage work-life balance. In some cases, they may just be the tipping point on whether to stay or go. As companies know too well, losing people is expensive – according to Harvard Business Review, replacing an employee who leaves costs about 21% of their annual pay.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.