Goodman Masson takes an innovative approach to employee benefits


With an employee base that consists mainly of sales-related roles, Goodman Masson recognises the importance of offering a varied benefits package in order to retain and motivate staff.

The financial recruitment organisation has been placing finance professionals in all industry sectors for over 20 years and roles in its 140-strong workforce range from associate consultant through to senior director.

Goodman Masson’s approach to people management stems from its strategic aim, which is “to treat our people better than any other business in the UK”. This philosophy lies behind Goodman Masson’s approach to reward and benefits, explains Andrew Michael, managing director.

“[Employers] have to manage employees in the right way, and give them the right environment in which to develop. [Employers] have to create a fun environment, but also have to give amazing benefits; that’s why we’ve done what we’ve done, our whole philosophy stems from our strategic aim,” he says.

Employee engagement

The organisation recognises the importance of employee engagement and retention to a successful business. In 2014, Goodman Masson’s employee engagement programme, The Experience, received a trademark. The programme was developed to put employees at the centre of the organisation’s growth agenda, and to help support it as a great place to work.

“The aim of The Experience is to become an amazing business to work for,” explains Michael. “It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s dynamic, but it’s a business that looks after its people, that’s the sole philosophy about it.”

The Experience is built on four pillars: work, to ensure that employees have the right tools and infrastructure to do a great job; grow, to give them the opportunity to develop professionally; reward, to ensure that they are well and correctly rewarded; and connect, to create an environment that people want to be part of and do not want to leave.

For Goodman Masson, it is key that its benefits programme is a constantly evolving piece. “A big conversation that we have constantly as a board is ‘what else can we do for our people’,” says Michael. “If [employers are] constantly asking that question, and speaking to their people, they’re naturally going to evolve their benefits programme; it shouldn’t stand still.

“It’s [about] trying to have the mindset of ‘how do we continually improve this?’ and that has meant we’ve come up with the knowledge fund, or the student loan, or the new parent fund. All of that didn’t come out of just one meeting, it was a gradual process.”

Flexible benefits

Goodman Masson employees have access to its flexible benefits scheme, the Benefits Boutique. Within this, some of the most popular benefits are the organisation’s more unique offerings. The mortgage fund, for example, a benefit proposed by chief executive officer, Guy Hayward, was introduced in 2012, to allow employees to save for a deposit for their first property. The fund requires an individual to deposit 20% of their basic salary for a three-year period into the fund, and at the end of this the organisation will top it up by 50%. Employees can also deposit their bonuses, and at the end of the three years, Goodman Masson will add 33%. So far, 34 employees have joined the scheme, and three have bought their first property.

“There’s a different bond, and feel, towards Goodman Masson as an employer,” says Michael. “Even if [an employee] is not in the fund, knowing that [they] work for an organisation that is that giving, and is that generous, creates a different feel. It’s not just all about the people in [the fund].”

The organisation offers other unique benefits to help retain and engage employees, and also to support their lives outside of work. If an employee joins the exotic holiday fund, Goodman Masson will pay for the cost of a holiday upfront, and the employee will pay back 80% of the cost over the course of a year through monthly salary deductions.

The home improvement loan works in a similar way, with the employer paying an upfront cost and the employee spreading repayments over three years, with 10% of the loan value written off each year. The organisation’s new parent fund works in the same way to help employees spread the cost of becoming first-time parents.

Goodman Masson’s student loan fund is structured in a similar way to the mortgage fund, and aims to write off student debt within three years.

The organisation also introduced a 3.30pm Friday finish, which gives employees the opportunity to leave at this time each week.

The average employee age at Goodman Masson is 28 years, so it has specifically designed its strategy to offer highly attractive benefits to its workforce. To support employees’ wellbeing, the organisation introduced a weekly fruit delivery, a dry-cleaning collection service and it also offers access to beauty therapist and a barber.

The results of its engagement programme are evident: turnover rates are low for the business sector, with 78% of employees staying for longer than two years, and absence levels have decreased. Its work on the Benefits Boutique offering won Goodman Masson the award for Best reward strategy aligned to business strategy at the Employee Benefits Awards in 2013, and the award for Most engaging benefits proposition in 2016. It has also achieved first place in Great Place to Work’s UK Best Workplaces 2015, medium category.

In a sector known for its high staff turnover rates and transient workforce, the results speak for themselves.

Goodman Masson at a glance

Goodman Masson is a financial recruitment firm, founded in 1993. It recruits across all industry sectors to place financial professionals covering accounting, tax, treasury, insurance, internal audit, risk, compliance, finance change, actuarial, banking operations and corporate finance.

It has around 140 employees with an average age of 28 years. The job roles range from associate consultant to senior director, and 78% of employees have more than two years’ service.

andrew-michaelCareer history

Andrew Michael, managing director, joined Goodman Masson in 2009 after previously working at recruitment firm Hudson for just under 10 years. Michael says: “Myself and my fellow board members are incredibly proud of what we’ve built, not just from a benefits perspective, but the organisation and the approach to managing our clients. The growth of our client base has been something I’m proud of.

“We’re also proud of our management philosophy at Goodman Masson. We’ve spent a huge amount of time and money and effort in making sure our managers manage and engage our people in the right way.”

Business objectives

  • To treat employees better than any other business in the UK.
  • To become the largest financial recruitment business in London.

Benefits on offer at Goodman Masson


  • Stakeholder pension with a 1% employer and 1% employee contribution.
  • Goodman Masson went through auto-enrolment in 2014.

Group risk

  • Group income protection, employer-paid for some employees.
  • Critical illness insurance, employer-paid for some employees.

Healthcare and wellbeing

  • Private medical insurance, voluntary basis, employee-paid.
  • Eyecare vouchers, employer-paid for all employees.
  • Personal accident insurance.
  • Sports and social clubs: football team, netball team, running club.

Work-life balance and family friendly

  • Mortgage fund.
  • Exotic holiday loan scheme.
  • Home technology loan.
  • Knowledge fund.
  • Home improvement loan.
  • New parent loan.
  • Reduced-rate babysitting service.
  • Childcare vouchers.
  • Student loan fund.
  • 25 days’ holiday with the option to buy or sell up to five days per year.
  • Early finish on Fridays.

Company cars

  • Salary sacrifice company car scheme.

Other benefits

  • Free cereal daily.
  • Free fruit deliveries.
  • Hot breakfast on Fridays.
  • Charity challenges
  • Monthly top-performer prizes.