In today’s candidate-driven job market, there is fierce competition to attract and retain employees. Offering a competitive benefits package can significantly improve your company’s success in both attracting top talent and retaining your existing employees.
What Benefits Can Help You Attract and Retain Employees?
Can offering great benefits really help you attract and retain employees?
In one word - yes. 👍
Studies show that a competitive benefits package can significantly affect the company's success in attracting and retaining employees.
✅ According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management’s survey, companies that use benefits as a tool for recruiting and retaining talent reported better overall company performance and above-average effectiveness in recruitment and retention compared with companies that do not.
✅ Another important survey confirming that benefits help in employee attraction and retention is Glassdoor’s global survey. According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. The survey also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise!
Obviously, benefits are an important part of your employee value proposition and a great way to differentiate your employer branding strategy.
Research overview: What benefits do employees want?
According to the above-cited studies, offering a competitive benefits package can significantly improve your company’s success in both attracting top talent and retaining your existing employees.
Your company probably offers certain benefits already, but are you offering the right ones? 🤔
What benefits can help you attract and retain employees?
😎 Do you need to start offering cool perks and benefits such as:
- Cycling classes during lunch
- Ping-pong tables at the office
- Yoga classes
- Stand-up desks
- Free food and snacks?
Let's look at the data. 🔍
❌ LinkedIn’s recent survey of over 3,000 U.S. professionals found that ping-pong, yoga, and free food are nice, but they really aren’t that important. What employees care most about are core benefits - things like health coverage and paid time off.
✔️ According to Glassdoor’s survey, employees prefer these top 5 benefits:
- Healthcare insurance (e.g., medical, dental): 40%
- Vacation days / Paid time off: 37%
- Performance bonus: 35%
- Paid sick days: 32%
- 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension: 31%.
💡 On the other hand, there are many other surveys that stress the importance of low-cost benefits such as flexible working hours and work-from-home options.
Conduct your own research: What benefits do your (potential) employees want?
Okay, so the extensive research I went through shows that employees care the most about meaningful benefits such as healthcare insurance and flex work options than some cool office perks.
Should you revise your own perks and benefits package based on these findings? 🤔
Heck no. 🛑
➡️ If you really want to create a benefits package that will make your employer brand stand out and attract, as well as retain top talent, you need to dig deeper.
You need to conduct your own research! Here is how:
Step #1: Ask your employees
So what do your employees really want? What benefits can help your company retain employees? I think that the best way to find out is to ask your own employees. Make a survey and ask them!
You may be surprised at what you find out. They may not want yoga classes at work. They may want a family day or flexible working hours. They may actually want benefits that don’t cost a lot of money. 😲
You may even find out that you spend a lot of money on benefits that your employees don’t think are that important. But you won’t know that unless you ask them!
Step #2: Ask your candidates
To find out what benefits can help you attract great candidates, conduct research among your top candidates. Ask your silver medalists what benefits they prefer. Simply include that question in your interviewing process.
It is a very simple thing to do and it won't cost you a thing, but it will send the message that you care and make your employer brand stand out. I haven't seen many companies implementing this approach, and I think this is a huge missed opportunity. 🎯
So, make sure to ask about your candidate’s benefits preferences during the job interview - it may help you win over a great candidate without raising your salary offer!
A key to an effective benefits package: Customization
When you get the results of your benefits preferences survey, make sure that you really hear the needs of your candidates and employees. According to Thomson's survey, the best practice is to customize your benefits package. 👌
Companies need to offer benefits that meet the needs of today's diverse employees and bring their real value to their lives. In other words, do not base an individual's benefits on the age group that they belong to, or their gender.
➡️ Instead, create a benefits strategy that is centered around your employees’ needs. Look at individuals and their preferences. This is the key! 🔑
According to MetLife’s 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study:
74% of employees say that having benefits customized to meet their needs is important when considering taking a new job.
72% of employees say that having the ability to customize their benefits would increase their loyalty to their current employer.
How to customize your company’s benefits package?
So how can you customize your company’s benefits package? 🤔
This process doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated. Here is a simple 3 step process for customizing your company’s benefits package:
Step #1: Create a benefits policy
📜 Create an official employee benefits program policy. It is important to have an official document that lays out all the rules and terms of your employee benefits program and packages.
This is especially important when you have a customized employee benefits program. All your employees should have a clear understanding of how your benefits program works. Make it fair and transparent!
Step #2: Design and implement
📝The first thing you need to do is to calculate the amount of money you want to spend on each of your employees per month (or year).
Then make a list of the benefits your employees want and calculate their worth in money. And there you have it. Now your employees can mix and match their benefits to get exactly what they want!
Step #3: Educate and promote
📣 Once you’ve created your employee benefits program, it’s time to introduce it to your employees. Make it easy for your employees to learn how your employee benefits program works and educate them on the different benefits you offer.
Create a specialized campaign to inform your employees about the brand new, customized employee benefits program you offer. Get them excited about and engaged in the process of learning about and selecting the benefits that work best for them.
TLDR: How to use benefits to attract and retain your employees?
Offering a competitive benefits package can significantly improve your company’s success in both attracting top talent and retaining your existing employees. ✅
There are no universal, one-size-fits-all benefits programs. The secret of success is to customize your benefits package and tailor it to your employees’ needs.
Once you’ve created an effective benefits program (check out the 3 step process explained above), you need to promote it among your employees and candidates. 📣
All your existing employees, as well as potential employees (job candidates and even just curious job seekers) need to know that benefits at your company are something special.
💡 You need to spread the word! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Internally: Advertise your benefits policy in your company emails
- Career site: Showcase your benefits program
- EVP: Highlight your benefits program in your EVP
- Interviews: Ask your candidates about their preferred benefits in your interviews
- Social media: Post photos of your employees enjoying your special benefits.
This may sound like a lot of work, but if you put in some effort, you will be more successful at recruiting the right people for your company and keeping your best employees.
I hope these tips will help you get started and keep you on the right track. Good luck! 🙂