10 Things You Can do to Attract Scarce Talent: #4 – Reimagine Employee Benefits

By The Intersect Group

Talent acquisition goals and desires have changed a bit compared to pre-pandemic. Priorities for the coming year include:

  • Increasing diversity
  • Growing the talent pipeline
  • Increasing retention
  • Improving time-to-hire
  • Improving quality of hire

No surprise to you, we know

So here’s the challenge: it’s a candidates’ market (again, old news to you). Candidates now need to decide on which of multiple offers they will accept.

Digging deeper, what are they mulling over? Not only a position’s actual responsibilities and opportunities for advancement but also the employee benefits and perks each position has on offer.

And that’s good news for you:

Employee benefits are where you can really differentiate yourself

But only if you’re willing to reimagine your offerings.

And you should ensure that they are what your candidates/employees actually want, not what you think they want.

Start with a survey of current team members

Ask them what types of employee benefits and perks they’d like. Tell them there are no “wrong” answers; they can tell you whatever they want.

Of course, your survey should state clearly that their desires may or may not come to fruition, yet emphasize that they shouldn’t self-censor because you want to know.

Here’s what you might find in the survey’s results

Inc.’s annual Best Workplaces survey, conducted in 1st Q 2021, asked employees what they would love to see regarding employee benefits, and the survey said….

  • Mental health insurance/help/services
  • A flexible work policy (as in allowing team members to work when and where they want).
  • Allowing pets to come to the office.
  • A greater emphasis on helping employees plan for retirement.
  • Unlimited PTO. (Don’t worry; your employees likely won’t overdo it. So why offer it? Your team members will know it’s there if they want it.)

Perks and benefits reimagined

Benefits will vary depending on the company’s size and budget. Here are some ideas that could be described as “reimagined.”

  • Bucket-list experiences as employee rewards: kayaking trips, spa weekends, theatre /concert tickets, personal -training sessions., etc.
  • Employee discounts/rewards: rental car, hotel, airfare discounts, and rewards. And we’re not talking $25 gift cards, but rather rewards/prizes of $100 or more for above-and-beyond efforts and results.
  • Wellness programs, including but not limited to: fitness contests (jump rope, steps, burpees, etc.), biometric testing, on-site gyms, and saunas, maybe even massage therapy, customized fitness programs. (If you can’t offer an on-site gym, consider paying all or part of a gym membership.)
  • Robust home-office supply budgets. Of course, “robust” will differ, depending on company means and employee needs (based on the team member’s role).
  • Free lunches, free snacks, paddle tennis tables in the break room, etc.
  • Taking paid time out of the workweek to volunteer at a charity/organization of the employee’s
  • The chance to take sabbaticals, with employment guaranteed upon return.
  • Healthy performance bonuses (a few hundred to a few thousand dollars).
  • Employer-matching 401ks, etc., with no vesting time period required to keep the employer’s match.
  • One-on-one help with retirement/financial advisors.
  • Formal employee development plans even for team members who have no desire to move up the traditional career ladder.
  • Tuition reimbursement/help. If you also can swing it for employee dependents, all the better!
  • Discounts for company products and services. (Deductions of at least 25 percent are very attractive!)
  • Stock, stock options, or equity in the company.
  • Help in defraying childcare costs. (With the average cost of putting just one child [infant] in daycare during the workday now at $1,230 per month, this could turn into a desirable benefit!)
  • Paid parental leave (for both mothers and fathers for births and adoptions).
  • Helping with commuting costs, as applicable.
  • Reduced prescription drug costs.

Most of our clients’ HR teams are incredibly busy managing the company’s employee benefits and perks.

Couple those critical tasks with recruitment needs, and HR professionals are – frankly – swamped.

That’s where The Intersect Group can help

We help companies find the  IT and finance/accounting professionals they need.

Learn more about recruiting and staffing services.