Hamilton Barnes’ benefits strategy evolves as the business grows

Recruitment agency Hamilton Barnes started up in 2014 and now employs 100 people, having grown from 20 pre-pandemic. As it has grown, it has had to develop its benefits offering to ensure it can hold on to talented staff.

George Barnes, chief executive officer (CEO) of Hamilton Barnes, says: “The number one cost to a recruitment business is churn,” says  “We wanted to offer them something comprehensive.”

As an organisation that helps to place people in other organisations, it was also aware which benefits are valued by employees, particularly those in the age range of its own staff, who tend to be mainly in their 20s. “One of the things we offer is independent financial advice, which I don’t think people get enough support with,” he says. “We have an advisor that works in-house and will advise on mortgages, loans, investments, savings and pensions.”

Another valued perk is having an on-site hairdresser. “People aren’t keen to get their hair cut in the evening or at the weekend,” he says. “It’s something we offer free of charge, which makes a difference as prices have gone up.”

It has also built its own Hamilton Barnes virtual store, where employees can spend coins which they either earn or receive by being nominated by a colleague. “They can buy things like Apple watches, TVs, a weekend away or dinner with their partner,” says Barnes.

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It also takes groups of employees to top sporting events, such as football, cricket and rugby matches, and recently took the whole team to Barcelona.

Barnes believes the range of benefits on offer gives it an advantage when recruiting, as well as contributing to a staff retention rate of 90%. “A lot of people think that money is a key driver but people want to be part of a community,” he says. “That’s worth more than money.”