When you’re trying to attract and keep the best employees for the job, you have to find ways to differentiate your company so it compares favorably to your competitors. So how do you do that? You can start by making sure your employee benefits are topnotch. That means they can’t just be the bare minimum, or you risk your competitors looking far more appealing than your company does to top candidates. If you’re not sure which employee benefits to offer or whether it’s really worth the effort, here’s what you should consider.
Why You Need to Focus More on Employee Benefits
Sure, you could just keep offering the most basic benefits and hope you happen to grab the attention of the most talented job applicants out there. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find someone who just wants to make a difference at your company and doesn’t care much about good health insurance, paid time off, or other common benefits. But what are the odds…especially when a few other companies are offering them more? From a purely practical standpoint, you need to offer better employee benefits than your competitors if you plan to get and hold on to the best employees.
And the numbers back this up. Thomsons Online Benefits did some research and found that 29 percent of survey respondents would ask about employee benefits in the first interview, while 29 percent would ask in the final interview. Clearly, over half said they’d ask about benefits during the interview process…and another 20 percent said they’d ask before accepting an offer! So the benefits package is a pretty big deal to potential employees. And it turns out it’s about equally important to current employees, because 84 percent of respondents said benefits affect their loyalty to their employer. So if you expect to keep the best employees, make sure you offer good benefits.
Find out how else to attract topnotch employees: Unique Ways Businesses Recruit Top Talent
What Kinds of Benefits Should You Consider?
When you think of benefits, you probably think about health insurance and paid time off. You know, the basic stuff that most companies offer full-time employees. And it turns out those options are very important. In fact, one study found that the top five benefits—from most to least important—include: health insurance, paid time off for vacation and personal days, performance bonuses, paid sick days, and retirement plans. So at the very least, you should offer these popular employee benefits, because it’s likely that your competitors already do.
But if you want to offer more than the bare minimum, there are a few ideas to consider. First, you’ve probably heard of paid maternity leave, and maybe you already provide this. But what about paternity leave so fathers can spend time bonding with their new babies, too? This is rising in popularity, so consider paid parental leave rather than just maternity leave. Tuition reimbursement is another great way to appeal to employees—especially if you want to encourage continuing education among your workforce. Some companies also pay for gym memberships for employees—or even offer yoga classes in the office!—while others provide employees with stipends for travel so they can take time to see the world. And of course, free products or services from your company—or at least steep discounts—will probably appeal to your employees while also encouraging them to become your best customers!
Here’s an example of an employee benefit that often works: Win the Talent War Through Student Loan Reimbursement
Make Your Benefits Clear
Regardless of the employee benefits you offer, make sure they’re easy for employees to keep track of. Thomsons Online Benefits found that 72 percent of employees who are able to access benefits from one device—such as a phone or computer—are happy with this approach and more engaged in general. So try to keep all the benefit information on one site or app if possible. At the very least, provide a web page or brochure with all the benefit information in one place so employees can find out what they need to quickly.
According to Thomsons Online Benefits, 22 percent of companies plan to focus on improving their employee benefits from now on. Will you be one of them, or do you think your benefits are already the best? Let us know!
Here’s how else you can get great new-hires: Increase of Digital Recruitment Tools: What You Need to Know
The original version of this article was first published on Future of Work.
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Eric Vidal is the Senior VP of Marketing & Principal at Broadsuite Media Group (BMG), a strategic partner of V3B and The Marketing Scope. Eric heads up the lead generation services for brands both large and small, and is a recognized leader in start-ups, marketing, content marketing, lead generation, advertising, tracking behavior, PR, messaging, social media, online events and web collaboration.