Workers in Britain are taking home smaller salaries in real terms than they were nearly 15 years ago, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies think-tank.

Whilst almost everyone has felt the squeeze, men and younger employees appear to have been hit hardest.

“These figures take inflation into account – which has been incredibly low for some years – but it is interesting to see how employers are overcoming the challenge of keeping their wage bills under control,” says Rob Dolbear, managing director of HCR.

“Competition amongst businesses, to attract the best young talent, is incredibly high. So how are they managing to entice workers in without destabilising their wage structures? I believe, although important, many potential employees are looking for more than just pay and time off in their prospective contracts.

“Innovative staff benefits, job security and career development are also fast becoming a priority for those comparing what’s on offer from future employers.

“At HCR, we work with businesses to provide a number of employee benefits. These include relocation services – for when staff must move to another part of the UK or abroad in order to carry out their work – and providing ‘eldercare’ support for those with elderly loved ones.

“Offering innovative extras is an excellent way of earning loyalty within your business – in addition to attracting talented new employees.

“Many companies are still feeling the pinch but figures show unemployment is falling – and there is much that can be done to create a happy and settled but eager workforce. For me, it is a case of demonstrating that, as an employer, you understand the concerns of those working for you.

“Communicating on a regular basis to make sure they appreciate why you have taken certain business decisions, and involving them in that whole process, is an excellent way of creating a challenging but enjoyable environment.

“In the end, everyone needs a salary for the work they do – and to be able to make a living – but there is a lot more to attracting and keeping the very best people. The past decade has prompted employers to be far more creative in their offerings.

“I have no doubt that, even as wages start to creep up, these extra benefits will remain just as important in making sure we can attract and then retain the top talent – whatever their age.”

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