Does Your Paid Leave Policy Deter Midcareer Hires?

She is starting over. She brings a proven record, enthusiasm and a couple decades of experience. Her competition is likely a new graduate or perhaps someone with a couple years of experience who has not yet accrued weeks of paid vacation. Your first-choice candidate, who can hit the ground running, is willing to take a step back in her salary. She may be willing to sacrifice some of the paid vacation time she earned over her career, but will she accept the position if she has to completely start over in terms of paid leave?

Employers may find that offering midcareer hires a few more paid days off may be the secret to landing the candidates they most want.

The results of the International Foundation survey, Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2017 Survey Results are in. Nearly 37% of respondent organizations reported that no special consideration is given to midcareer hires. But take heart, Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers, the news isn’t all bad if you are looking to make a career change:

  • 33.9% are offered additional paid time off (PTO) on a case-by-case basis.Talking Benefits Podcast
  • 20.1% are offered the option to take unpaid days.
  • 10.3% are provided additional paid time off based on position.
  • 8.7% are offered additional paid time off based on relevant experience and skill level.
  • 2% are offered the option to purchase additional time off.

When presenting an offer to a midcareer hire, be sure to focus on your organization’s entire paid leave policy to help the candidate consider your offerings beyond vacation time. The Paid Leave in the Workplace survey details the frequency in which respondent organizations offer paid time off outside of their vacation or PTO plans:

  • Paid holidays—497 organizations offer 28 different paid holidays.
  • Paid floating holidays—43.6% offer between one and five paid floating holidays annually.
  • Paid sick days—More than three out of four respondents allow sick leave to be used for illness, medical appointment, care of a sick child, dental appointments, care of a spouse or domestic partner, and maternity leave.
  • Paid bereavement days—82.5% of respondents offer bereavement leave in a separate plan.
  • Paid jury duty leave—84.1% offer through a plan other than a PTO plan
  • Paid inclement weather leave—28.8% offer through a plan other than a PTO plan
  • Paid time off to attend a child’s activities—11.9% offer through a plan other than a PTO plan.

As a recent midcareer hire myself, I am happy that I looked beyond the printed vacation policy when determining if “starting over” was worth it. I know I made the right decision!

Teri Dougherty
Research Analyst at the International Foundation