There are certain factors that come into play when determining whether to accept a job offer. First, the obvious -- the salary has to be right. Then there are the hours and commute to consider as well, especially if both are on the long side. But when contemplating employment opportunities, Americans are increasingly taking one crucial benefit into account: paid time off. Vacation time is so important to U.S. workers that 63% would not consider a job that offered fewer than 15 paid days per year, or so says a new survey from Randstad US.

If your business has historically been stingy on the vacation front, it may be time to change your ways. Otherwise, you risk limiting your pool of talent and hurting your company in the process.

Man searching for flights on laptop.


Workers need time off

Most Americans these days are unhappy with their work-life balance, and limited vacation time plays into that. When employees don't get enough opportunity to take a break from the grind or tend to life's many obligations, they're more apt to feel stressed, demotivated, and just plain burned out. Once that happens, their productivity is likely to decline, which means they'll deliver less value. Or they might manage to maintain their output but look into opportunities to take their talent elsewhere -- namely, to another company that offers the break they're looking for. That's why you must revisit your paid-time-off policy if the number of vacation days you currently offer leaves much to be desired.

What's considered an adequate level of time off? According to the aforementioned survey, 15 vacation days per year is clearly the magic number, though the average American worker only gets 10 paid vacation days per year. On the other hand, some companies offer more than 15 days off annually, whether from the start or as workers put in their time on the job. And let's not forget the small but growing percentage of businesses that give their workers unlimited vacation provided they don't abuse it.

Of course, it's not just vacation days you want to be generous with as an employer; you should also make sure your workers have an adequate amount of personal and sick time. Many companies lump all three types under the "paid time off" umbrella and call it a day, but in reality, an employee who calls out sick with the flu or needs a day off to attend a relative's funeral shouldn't be docked a vacation day. Rather, those days should fall under a separate heading so that workers don't use up their vacation time for purposes that don't result in an actual mental break.

While increasing the amount of time off you give your employees might seem like it'll hurt your business's productivity at first, remember that when workers feel refreshed and energized, they tend to perform better when they are on the job. And if they feel that they're given ample opportunity to recharge, they're likely to remain loyal. Therefore, take some time to reevaluate your company's vacation policy -- because if your business doesn't do better, it might really struggle to attract and maintain talent in today's competitive market.