Attractiveness of non-financial rewards for prospective knowledge workers

Anton Schlechter (School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Nicola Claire Thompson (Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Mark Bussin (Department of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Publication date: 7 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if the presence of non-financial rewards (specifically work-life balance, learning, and career advancement) were able to influence the perceived attractiveness of a job offering. A secondary objective was to establish if there were demographic differences, specifically, gender, race, and age differences in the manner in which these non-financial rewards influenced the perceived attractiveness of a job offer.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research approach was followed and a 23 full-factorial experimental design utilised. Data were collected with two questionnaires via convenience (non-probability) sampling. The first job attraction questionnaire assessed the perceived level of attractiveness to one of eight randomly assigned experimental conditions (stimuli) that were expressed as eight fictitious job advertisements. Employees who responded were from various industries (n=180). The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and a full-factorial ANOVA. A second questionnaire was used to assess the perceived attractiveness of various elements of a typical total rewards package. The validity and reliability of the second questionnaire was assessed using Exploratory Factor Analysis utilising the Principal Axis Factoring extraction method, employing a Direct Oblimin (i.e. Oblique) rotation, and calculating Cronbach α coefficients, respectively. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the composite factors or reward elements.

Findings

The non-financial reward elements (work-life balance, learning, and career advancement) were found to have statistically significant main effects on employees’ perceived attractiveness of a job offering. Gender was further found to also have a significant main effect, indicating that the presence of non-financial rewards was more attractive in job offerings for women than for men.

Research limitations/implications

The sample group was obtained by means of convenience sampling and may not have been adequately representative of the target population.

Practical implications

Organisations may benefit from these results by implementing and/or emphasising non-financial rewards as part of a total rewards package when they attempt to attract or recruit potential employees. Organisations that seek to attract a higher number of female employees may benefit from the results by incorporating or further emphasising non-financial rewards as part of a targeted job offer.

Originality/value

Substantial research exists that has identified reward elements that are effective in attraction strategies, but the authors are unaware of any literature where use was made of an experimental design to empirically show that non-financial rewards effect/influence perceived job attractiveness. The current study succeeded in identifying that the presence of non-financial rewards, as part of a job advertisement led to significantly higher levels of job attractiveness in prospective employees. Also, that there are gender differences in the extent to which the presence of non-financial rewards effect perceived attractiveness of a job offer.

Keywords

Citation

Anton Schlechter, Nicola Claire Thompson and Mark Bussin (2015) "Attractiveness of non-financial rewards for prospective knowledge workers", Employee Relations, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 274-295

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-06-2014-0077

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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