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How to use employee benefits to attract top talent

Here’s an in-depth look at leveraging employee benefits to not just attract, but also retain the best in the business.

Lisa Ray Author Image

By Lisa Ray

How to use employee benefits to attract top talent Image

Securing top talent is a strategic necessity, not just a routine HR task. A well-thought-out employee benefits package can significantly tilt the scales in your favour.

Here’s an in-depth look at leveraging employee benefits to not just attract, but also retain the best in the business.

Understanding the landscape of employee benefits

Employee benefits have evolved from simple health insurance to a comprehensive array of offerings that cater to various aspects of an employee's life. A 2022 report by Willis Towers Watson found that 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer based on their benefits program. This statistic underscores the shift in workforce dynamics where benefits are increasingly influencing career choices.

Why benefits matter more now

The expectations of today’s workforce have shifted towards a more holistic view of compensation, which includes life quality enhancements such as work-life balance and mental health support. Post-pandemic, these aspects have become even more crucial. A survey by Mercer revealed that flexible working arrangements are now a key factor for 87% of employees when considering a job offer.

The most sought-after benefits

For SMBs, understanding what benefits are most attractive can provide a competitive edge. According to a Deloitte survey, the top benefits that employees look for include enhanced health insurance (56%), flexible working hours (53%), and opportunities for professional development (45%). Notably, unique perks such as pet insurance and parental leave extensions are also gaining popularity.

Tailoring benefits to your business

Customisation of benefits according to the needs of your workforce is vital. For example, if your workforce is predominantly young and tech-savvy, offering subscriptions to digital health apps or e-learning platforms could be particularly appealing. Similarly, for companies in creative industries, providing spaces for innovation, like innovation lab access or sabbatical options, can be a strong draw.

How benefits impact recruitment

A strategic approach to employee benefits can transform them from a standard part of your HR policy to a core facet of your recruitment strategy. This requires not just having attractive benefits, but also communicating them effectively.

Selling your benefits effectively

Beyond listing benefits in job descriptions, illustrating their impact through employee stories and testimonials can make them resonate more with potential candidates. For instance, showcasing an employee who used the parental leave policy to spend time with their newborn can humanise and strengthen the appeal of your benefits.

Integrating benefits into your employer brand

Benefits are a critical part of your employer brand, reflecting your company's values and culture. A study by CEB (now Gartner) indicated that companies that effectively communicate their benefits saw a 138% increase in likely engagement from potential employees. Thus, clear communication and alignment of benefits with company values are essential.

Using benefits as a negotiation tool

During recruitment negotiations, flexibility in customising benefits can be a significant advantage. Tailoring benefits, such as offering a choice between remote work or higher learning allowances, can help seal the deal with top candidates.

Case studies and statistics

Using real-life examples and data can better illustrate the effectiveness of benefits in recruitment and retention. A tech company that introduced unlimited vacation saw a 34% decrease in employee burnout and a 21% increase in productivity over two years. Another example is a small business that offered compressed workweeks, leading to a 55% increase in job applications.

Furthermore, LinkedIn’s 2021 Global Talent Trends report indicates that companies focusing on employee well-being saw a 20% increase in the number of high-quality applicants.

Implementing a successful benefits strategy

Developing a benefits strategy that aligns with both business goals and employee needs requires a methodical approach:

  1. Conduct a needs assessment: Regularly gather feedback to understand employee priorities.
  2. Benchmark against competitors: Ensure your benefits are competitive within your industry to attract top talent.
  3. Communicate effectively: Use clear, engaging methods to inform current and prospective employees about the benefits you offer.
  4. Solicit feedback and evolve: Adapt your benefits offerings based on employee feedback and changing market conditions.

Through strategic planning and effective communication, SMBs can use employee benefits not just as tools for compensation, but as crucial elements in building a motivated, committed, and highly productive workforce.

Frequently asked questions

What are the most cost-effective benefits for SMBs?

Wellness programs and flexible working arrangements often offer high value with relatively low investment.

How can we measure the impact of our benefits on recruitment and retention?

Implement tracking of employee satisfaction and retention rates pre- and post-implementation of new benefits.

What should we consider when introducing international benefits for a global team?

Cultural relevance and compliance with local employment laws are crucial for international benefits.

How do benefits influence employee engagement?

Well-structured benefits can enhance job satisfaction, which directly impacts engagement and productivity.

Are there emerging benefits we should be aware of for future planning?

Mental health support and financial wellness programs are rapidly gaining importance among forward-thinking companies.

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