When an candidate is on the search for employment, one of the very first things they look at is the benefits package being offered by the organization. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management 2017 Employee Benefits Survey, 40 percent of all participants plan to look into new employment opportunities within the next year, with 29 percent noting their reason being a need for better overall benefits – second only to higher compensation (56 percent).
In this way, the benefits that an organization can provide for its employees are absolutely critical. This package can make or break the type of talent pool organizations have to work from. Offering in-demand and valuable benefits results in higher workforce satisfaction and is a top factor for employee loyalty.
More important than salary?
In certain situations, and from a big-picture perspective, specific benefits like health insurance can be even more essential to workers than their baseline salary.
"Almost one-third of all businesses boosted their overall benefits, with health and wellness being top priorities."
As CareerCast contributor Veer Gidwaney pointed out, while health insurance isn't the "sexiest," it is an important bread-and-butter element of any good benefits package – and supporting workers' health sends an important message.
"A catastrophic health problem can bankrupt even someone making a six-figure salary, and unpaid medical bills were the leading cause of bankruptcies last year," Gidwaney wrote. "Beyond the added peace of mind that a case of appendicitis won't send you to the poor house, a good benefits package is also a sign of a company that actually cares about its employees."
As the SHRM survey shows, this is an area where many employers are looking to improve. Within the last year, almost one-third of all businesses boosted their overall benefits, with health and wellness (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) being top priorities.
Unique and valuable benefits attract top young talent
What's more, as HR Dive contributor Ryan Golden pointed out, young talent have different needs than previous generations when it comes to their desired benefits. This includes, specifically, the coveted millennial generation – which now comprises the largest segment of the American workforce – and the up-and-coming Generation Z, which includes those born after 1996.
This means that in the current employer landscape, offering the right benefits package that maps to the unique needs of these generations can considerably boost companies' ability to attract and retain young, top talent.
"It's important that we understand that things are changing fast, and the world that emerging adults are growing up in today is quite different than even 10 years ago, arguably more than five years ago," noted John MacPhee, CO and executive director of nonprofit group The Jed Foundation, focusing on young adult mental health."There's heightened risks around sustainable employment [and] the gig economy – it feels less settled."
This can translate to many different needs and preferences for the young workforce. But, as experts point out, the key here is to enable choice as well as benefits that help meet issues workers are currently experiencing. For instance, as Golden noted, this often means younger workers will pass on voluntary benefits like life insurance in favor of things like tuition reimbursement and commuter cost assistance.
In this way, supporting more immediate needs through creative and impactful benefits can help organizations improve their recruitment power and attract young, talented staff members.
To find out more about the importance of employee benefits and how these can affect your organization's recruitment and hiring, connect with the experts at Triton Benefits & HR Solutions today.