How Important are Employee Benefits in Recruitment?

Strategies for Developing a Strong and Competitive Employee Benefits Package

Employee Benefits
Employee Benefits.

When it comes to attracting and recruiting the best employees, where exactly does an employee benefit package stand? According to a recent JobVite report and infographic, 71.6 percent of companies offer benefits that go beyond the normal health and financial benefit products that are standard in workplaces. The most wanted benefits include: flextime and remote work opportunities, corporate recreation centers and gym memberships, free food or catered meals, mentoring and development programs, and casual dress codes.

Additionally, 31.2 percent of the polled job seekers said that benefits and perks were “moderately important”, while 33.8 percent said they were “somewhat important”.

Employee benefits and perks are directly tied to the generational values of recruits  

In terms of recruitment, oftentimes the types of employee benefits that will matter the most has a lot to do with the generation of talent the company is trying to attract. The JobVite survey revealed that 52.8 percent of older workers (aged 45-54) would prefer a salary increase vs. 36.1 percent of younger workers (aged 25-34). Millennials, who tend to stay on a job 4 years or less, are more concerned with experiencing a good balance between life and work, and they prioritize such perks as tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules, and free onsite wellness support.

How can a company use employee benefits to recruit a better workforce?

When recruiting, it’s possible to leverage the employee benefits package to attract and retain the best candidates.

There are some best practices, which I will include here for a more comprehensive approach to accomplishing this.

#1 – Design a total compensation statement of an average employee.

Pick a mid-level employee and create a statement that shows their total compensation for one year. This statement should include the salary (gross annual earnings), including any potential bonuses or commissions.

Then include the complete value of the health insurance benefits, dental and vision benefits, retirement savings benefits, maximum annual health or flexible savings plan benefits, company training benefit costs, onsite perks dollar value per year, and any additional perks that have an annual cost to the company.

#2 – Add information about the employee benefits offered to the career portal.

Once you have created a snapshot of the total compensation of your workers, add this information to your career portal. Organize the benefits by type, breaking down the benefits and dollar amounts with a total value at the bottom. A graphic can be a nice way to include this information, such as a pie chart that shows the allocation of benefits. Use this as a visual tool when recruiting and interviewing candidates.

#3 – Include an employee benefits overview to all job advertisements.

Your employee benefits information can be included in all job advertisements, focusing on the best aspects of the benefits program. For example, word the benefits information to say something like “ all employees eligible for full health care coverage at 30 days of employment, including multiple onsite perks like casual dress code, free beverages and catered lunches, and access to a corporate gym membership”.

#4 – Determine what unique perks and benefits your organization can highlight.

Take the time to offer something that no other company in your industry offers. You may want to offer daycare provisions for working parents, generous time off for professional learning, or a special corporate wellness program that allows employees nap time in the afternoons. Try to come up with a unique benefit proposition that will appeal to your target candidates.

#5 – Continually listen to employees to add value to your total compensation strategy.

Employee benefit programs must continue to evolve as the interests and needs of candidates change. Be sure that your benefits philosophy stays fluid as you develop and market programs each year. Engage with employees each year, in advance of open enrollment periods, and find out what they are seeking in benefits, what they have used the most, and what is new on the horizon.