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  • Writer's pictureHR Choice

Better Benefits – The Key for Attracting Great Talent

In today’s employment market, competition for talent is greater than it has ever been, and benefits continue to be essential in keeping current and attracting prospective employees. Couple that with the fact that benefits are one of the bigger line items on the budget and growing, which is a significant concern for a company. The challenge of balancing both of these factors is tough so it is important to understand the unique value of offering certain benefits to your employees and how it impacts your total compensation costs.

With unemployment at historic lows, competition for talent is fierce—61% of small businesses aim to offer a better benefits package than competitors, with this increasing even more among start-ups (70%) and high-tech firms (81%). Larger organizations have already been using the lure of better benefits to attract candidates, and a new study shows small businesses are joining the the talent war by rolling out the best benefits they can offer. In fact, more than 4 in 10 small business employees say they depend on their workplace benefits for financial security and agree their benefits positively impact their overall health, according to the 5th Annual Workplace Benefits Study, “Small Business, Big Benefits,” by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian).

“The ability for small businesses to stand out in today’s marketplace is essential for growth and this study confirms that small businesses are using flexible work arrangements, wellness initiatives and benefits technology as important recruitment and retention tools. Creating a benefits experience that employees’ value allows small business owners to demonstrate they care about the well-being of their employees—which leads to stronger employee loyalty.”

Creating a Culture of Well-Being

Over the past 5 years, more small businesses have established flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and wellness programs to help employees improve their work/life balance. For small businesses already applying these practices in the workplace, the study confirms it makes a difference—55% of workers who feel their employer cares about their well-being want to stay at their company for 10 years or more compared to 33% who don’t believe their company cares. Women and Millennial small business owners placed even more importance on benefits that support workforce health, financial, and emotional well-being.

Small business owners are in a unique position to identify the needs of their workers on a more personal level. Small firms know that workers rely on their workplace benefits for financial security, and that often money is a top source of concern for their employees. For a growing proportion of workers in high deductible health plans (HDHP), out-of-pocket medical costs are near the top of that list. To help workers pay for expenses not covered by their HDHP, more employers are offering supplemental health coverage, up 20% since 2015. Additionally, since many employees feel their benefits are important to their household’s financial security, small businesses are responding with two of the top five benefits strategies; helping workers make better benefits decisions (53%) and increasing employee financial education (44%) over the next 5 years.

Outsourcing benefits administration has also become an important benefits strategy for small firms. Roughly 30% of small business owners have increased their level of outsourced benefits administration in the last three years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Many small firms believe benefits outsourcing will be a top human resources strategy in the next 5 years.

With that in mind, factors such as the size of your business, industry and even location can impact the development of a benefits program. So, much like a mission or vision statement, what do you want your benefits to represent about your organization? Are you offering a variety of benefits to meet the needs of your employees? These not only include better medical, dental and vision options, but paid time off, leaves of absence to allow them to take care of family issues and some are even pet friendly. As you think about your current benefit offerings, are you only offering a minimum of benefits because it’s expected or even required by law? Benefits can be costly, and budget is always a concern, but remember benefits can also be used as an attractive recruitment and retention incentive.

While we at HR Choice are not benefit brokers, we can support our clients in a number of ways to ensure a competitive, efficient approach to employee benefits that meet the needs of employees and are effectively managed for the client. We help our clients assess if the benefits they are offering are competitive and meeting the needs of their workforce. We also provide “outsourced” benefit administration and we work closely with our clients to create effective communications with the employees to ensure they understand and appreciate the value of those benefits.

Email or call us today if you want to ensure you are a competitive employer with the right set of benefits to attract and retain top talent. Please reach out to your HR Choice Consultant or or call us at 720-335-6540 if you wish to discuss how we might help you.

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