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4 in 5 Employees Want Benefits or Perks More Than a Pay Raise; Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey (Q3 2015)

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Oct 2, 2015
|3 min read

Companies like Netflix have recently made headlines by providing employees with increased parental leave, and other employers provide appealing perks like unlimited vacation, free lunches and more. On the other hand, many U.S. employees don’t receive benefits like medical insurance or paid time off.

How valuable are benefits and perks?

According to Glassdoor’s Q3 2015 Employment Confidence Survey¹, nearly four in five (79%) of employees2 would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase. Specifically, more women (82%) than men (76%) prefer benefits or perks to a pay raise. And, younger employees aged 18-34 (89%) and 35-44 (84%) prefer benefits or perks to pay raises when compared to those aged 45-54 (70%) and 55-64 (66%).

Types of Benefits/Perks Valued More Than Pay Raises

  • Healthcare insurance (e.g., medical, dental): 40%
  • Vacation/Paid time off: 37%
  • Performance bonus: 35%
  • Paid sick days: 32%
  • 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension: 31%
  • Flexible schedule (e.g., work from home): 30%
  • Office perks (e.g., free lunch, casual dress): 19%
  • Employee development programs (e.g., on-the-job training, professional development): 19%
  • Tuition reimbursement: 18%
  • Employee discounts: 17%
  • Gym membership or wellness programs: 16%
  • Stock, stock options and/or equity: 16%
  • Paid parental leave (e.g., maternity leave, adoption assistance): 13%
  • Childcare assistance (e.g., on-site childcare, financial assistance): 13%
  • Commuter assistance (e.g., company shuttle, commuter checks): 9%
  • Diversity program: 3%

Glassdoor’s survey also looks at core measures of job market confidence: rehire probability, salary expectations, job security and business outlook.

“As the U.S. economy continues to expand and job market confidence continues to rise, there is no doubt it is a job seeker’s market. This is a clear signal to employers that in order to compete in today’s labor market, it’s not just about salary and compensation, employers should be communicating clearly about non-traditional compensation. Recruiters should take note that touting the benefits and perks offered can help win talent of different demographics, industries and occupations,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.

More Employees Confident in Job Market – New High in More Than 6 Years

At a new high since this question was first asked more than six and a half years ago, 54% of employees (including those self-employed) report confidence that if they lost their job, they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months. This ticked up 2 percentage points since last quarter. Of those unemployed but looking for work, rehire probability confidence is down 6 percentage points to 40% since last quarter (46%), but up 7 percentage points compared to last year (Q3 2014, 33%). When we look at age, younger employees (including those self-employed) aged 18-34 years old (60%) are significantly more optimistic in their ability to find a job in the next six months when compared to employees aged 55-64 (44%).

GD_Rehire Probability Q3 15


Half of Employees Expect Salary Increase

Pay raise expectations have also continued to rise. For the first time since this question was asked in Q4 2008, half (50%) of employees expect to receive a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, up 3 percentage points from last quarter (47%). Pay raise confidence among women increased 7 percentage points from last quarter (42%) to 49%, while pay raise confidence among men ticked up 1 percentage point to 51 percent compared to last quarter (50 percent).

GD_SalaryExpectations_Q3 15


Read more from our Q3 2015 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey, including our survey supplement which provides a detailed quarter-by-quarter breakdown of results.

Would you rather have benefits and perks than a salary increase? Share your opinion below.

1 The Q3 2015 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from September 18-22, 2015 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,119 are employed or unemployed but looking, 1,011 are employed (full-time, part-time or self-employed), 903 are full-time/part-time employees, and 108 are unemployed but looking. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

2 For the purposes of this study, “employees” were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.

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