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The Top Employee Benefits Recruiters Need to be Talking About

Employee benefits are a great tool to use when working to recruit top talent. Candidates are searching for rewarding careers at companies that take care of their employees, and they’re interested in far more than bottom-line salary.

Even the millennial generation has begun to emerge from their perceived self-deserving stereotype. They’re less concerned with ping-pong tables and nap pods and far more interested in working for a company that can support their changing needs. 

They’re also the largest group of job seekers in the market, making it paramount for companies to continue to be able to focus their recruiting on that generation. Additionally, the emergence of Gen Z into the workplace will have an impact on how companies recruit and retain top talent. 

Family planning, debt management, and career growth are at the forefront of candidate focus. And regardless of generation, you don’t have to be Google to attract top talent. Here are the employee benefits you really need to highlight in your recruiting efforts — the ones that will offer support to your employee, their family, and their future:

Health Insurance, 401K, and Paid Time Off

Standard and expected, companies can capitalize on strong health, dental, retirement, and vacation benefits by clearly communicating them as part of their recruitment efforts. Not only does it remove an unknown element of the position from your candidates, it helps companies recruit more efficiently by not attracting talent that may be looking for different plans.

Overall, 80 percent of job seekers prefer strong traditional benefits over higher wages. Companies that invest in lower-cost health care, better 401(k) matching, and more appeal time-off policies will benefit not only from job seeker interest, but could also increase retention and improve current employee satisfaction.

Flexibility

A recent survey by Monster revealed that the No. 1 benefit that attracts new candidates is flexibility. With 70 percent of job seekers looking for flexible working hours and 41 percent attracted by work-from-home options, companies that are able to embrace remote work technologies for their team will have better success attracting and retaining talent. 

In addition to flexible work hours, Monster also found that independence appeals to 63 percent of job seekers. And they don’t just mean having the independence to set their own work hours. Employees are more interested than ever in independent work, shying away from age-old processes to embrace new technology in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Instead of being managed, they want to be mentored as independent free-thinkers.

Perhaps more importantly, companies that don’t find ways to incorporate flexibility into their employees’ jobs could have a hard time hiring — 51 percent of employees won’t take a less flexible position. If you haven’t yet started to think about how to make your team’s work-life balance more flexible, now is the time.

Career Advancement and Continuing Education Opportunities

Especially for younger employees, internal growth opportunities and continuing education programs are a big pull in their job search. They want to know that the role they step into won’t be stagnant and that they’ll experience personal and professional growth as part of their experience with the company.

Take the time during the recruitment process to highlight the ways your company helps its employees advance, both internally and through external opportunities. Whether it’s a structured leadership program or the ability for employees to pursue higher education, they’ll feel as though their role is future-focused thanks to your company’s commitment to their development.

Stand Out Perks

Any benefit program that helps your company stand out will increase your appeal to candidates. The competitive nature of the job market for employers has every company scrambling to find the edge that makes them the most desirable workplace, so think of the things you can do that will truly serve your team.

Wellness programs are an excellent perk to offer your employees. They can be wrapped right into your health care benefit, with employee participation resulting in a reduction of cost (both for them and for you). Since our society is becoming ever-more health conscious, you have the opportunity to play to that interest and attract more talent.

Financial well-being and student loan assistance programs can also be used as a tool to attract and retain talent. There are 44 million people dealing with student loan debt in our country and the total national student debt amount exceeds $13 trillion. On average, millennials owe $35,000 just in student loan debt and 24 percent of them have no personal savings to speak of. 

When an employer is willing to work with employees toward financial freedom — not just by paying them a fair wage, but also by helping them harness financial planning and tackle looming student debt — they’ll see an increase in the commitment and loyalty of their team.

Fertility and adoption benefits are another standout perk companies could capitalize on to recruit and retain top talent. One out of every six couples struggles with fertility issues, and the high cost of adoption or fertility treatment is heavy on the shoulders of those hoping to grow their families. Prove that you really are a “family-focused workplace” by offering the support members of your team will need to see their families grow.

Don’t just focus on Millennial and Gen Z needs

Benefits should benefit everyone. When considering how your benefit offerings affect your recruitment process, don’t only focus on the desires of your youngest hires. The multi-generational workplace needs to satisfy the needs of all its employees, so keep your finger on the pulse of what your more seasoned employees and new hires need too.

Retirement planning, time with children and grandchildren, and support in learning about emerging technologies can be big sellers for Gen Xers and baby boomers, and they’re the same benefits that will age well with your younger workforce.

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