Long reads

3 useful ways to prevent ‘perkwashing’ at work

From coffee machines in the communal kitchen to onsite gyms, employee perks vary from industry to industry. However, with the demand for hybrid working and the increased attention on diversity and inclusion policies, ‘perkwashing’ has become a very real concern among those switching jobs.

Much like greenwashing, perkwashing refers to policies that are listed in job descriptions and promises that are made during interviews in which the company makes promises that never quite materialise in the day-to-day job.

These perks can include flexible working, which later is not possible due to the company structure. Employee benefits for families, such as healthcare, extended leave or fertility benefits, may also come with dozens of small print qualifiers, rendering them more or less ineffective.

On paper, it may seem easy to spot the companies that fabricate their perks, but in reality it can be much trickier. Especially when you consider that 56% of workers will not even consider a job with a company that does not offer values in alignment with their own.

In a labour market that remains tight across certain sectors, companies are doing what they can to seal the deal. This means the onus now lies with you, the employee, to ensure that you are not being perkwashed. What can you do?

1. Ask leading questions

If you are told that employees have access to medical benefits such as fertility treatments, ask questions about the practicalities: what percentage of payment is funded by the company, what length of service is required to access the support, and how many employees have benefited from this perk.

Similarly, if flexible working is mentioned, ask for a breakdown on what that means. Flexible working is a very subjective term, so what exactly does it mean at this company?

2. Recognise the red flags

Asking some more general questions can give you a good sense of what the company is like in terms of its reputation. Find out what the tenure of the person who held the role before was, and look into the general rate of staff turnover.

What is its reputation like as an employer? Check sites such as Glassdoor for intel. If you can speak to former employees and ask about work-life balance, the expectation to always be contactable, and if any perks they were promised actually materialised, you will have done your due diligence.

3. Know what matters

Figuring out what perks matter to you and which ones do not may seem like an obvious question. Do you care more about free coffee and an onsite gym, or would you rather have a bonus scheme and robust pension contributions?

By understanding what benefits really matter to you it becomes easier to avoid being perkwashed. Additionally, it remains a candidate’s market, with demand for those with financial experience accelerating year-on-year as the finance sector globally continues to grow––which means that what you do not find at one company, you will get at another.

The Finextra Job Board is full of current opportunities across leading financial companies, all known for their commitment to employee wellbeing. Below, you will find three exciting roles to discover.

Head of Internal Audit, SumUp, Dublin

The Role: As Head of Internal Audit you will work closely with leaders to identify and mitigate risks, and provide valuable insights to improve processes and procedures, supporting the overall business performance.

The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for preparing and implementing a risk-based audit plan that aligns with the company's strategic objectives and regulatory requirements while leading the internal audit function and overseeing planning, execution, and reporting.

The Requirements: You will have a high affinity for IT, the payments, and tech industries and multiple years of professional experience leading internal audits in an international environment in the financial services sector––either in professional services or an in-house function.

Apply for the Head of Internal Audit role or browse all available opportunities at SumUp.

UX Researcher, Zilch, London

The Role: As UX Researcher with Zilch you will be working on problems from their definition stage, using the appropriate qualitative or quantitative research and discovery methods through to evaluation of interfaces and interactions for digital products and services on a global scale.

The Responsibilities: You will be required to plan and complete high-quality qualitative and quantitative research, ensuring recruitment of customers and panels is carried out to meet defined criteria, the appropriate methodology is used, and timelines are defined and kept to.

The Requirements: You will need expert-level knowledge in the field of UX research with at least two years experience of working as a UX researcher on digital products.

Apply for the UX Researcher role or browse all available opportunities with Zilch.

Director of 2LOD Credit & Financial Risk, Zopa Limited, London

The Role: The Director of 2LOD Credit & Financial Risk is an integral role at Zopa, providing a strong and independent second line of defence across credit, model, capital,interest rate and liquidity risk.

The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for designing and managing the frameworks needed to mitigate financial risks, and role model the risk-based culture needed to support Zopa’s resilient growth.

The Requirements: You will have a proven track record of creating and developing risk-based practices and models to provide smart, sustainable solutions, and demonstrable experience of working within consumer finance, payments and capital, and liquidity risk.

Apply for the Director role or browse all available opportunities at Zopa.

Explore all available roles with perks you can count on via the Finextra Job Board.

Comments: (0)