New Hires are Clamoring for These Top Benefits

It can be argued that a business with only one employee is not really a business at all. To grow and succeed as an entrepreneur, you need the right people by your side and that means recruiting them. Not only do you need to identify your target employee and actively search for them, but you also need to sway them to your company. Let’s face it, your mission statement, no matter how eloquent, isn’t going to be the final factor in a new hire’s decision to join your company. Workers are looking for employee benefits that match their wants and needs. Which means you need the right benefits to attract the right employees.

That’s the thing, different people have different priorities and values so it can be difficult to offer what’s right for every person. First, you need to identify your target employee. How old are they? Do they have families? How much experience will they be bringing to the table? Where might they be coming from? All of these questions have an impact on how well your offered benefits are going to attract them.

In general, the lower the salary, the more important benefits become. With a record low unemployment rate in the US of only 3.7%, competition to attract workers is even stiffer than before.1 Of course, it’s important to offer the major benefits that all workers want, but you shouldn’t be afraid to step outside the box and look for unique options. One-third of companies increased benefits in 2017.2 But beware, offering mediocre versions of the same benefits as another company will not make your business attractive to new workers. Here are the top benefits new hires are looking for…
Health Benefits
It’s no surprise that healthcare tops the list as the number one benefit employees look for in a job. However, all employers know this, which is why 95% of employers indicate that healthcare is the most important benefit to their workers.3 Health care benefits usually center around health insurance, and this is certainly a vital aspect of physical wellness, but there are many more health benefits you can offer that will put you ahead of the pack.

Gym memberships, meditation classes, healthy snacks in the break room, EAPs — all of these and more can combine to form a total mental and physical health benefits package that’s tempting to recruits. Mental health wellness programs and benefits can help combat burnout and boost morale in the office. Physical wellness can help prevent or reverse lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, both of which raise healthcare costs and result in absenteeism and lowered productivity from workers. If you really want to think outside the box with your health benefits, consider offering health insurance for pets, too!
Job Flexibility
Back in the 1800s, employees worked for as many hours as their employer wanted, often over 100 hours a week. But labor unions fought for better working conditions and the five-day, 40-hour work week (first popularized by Henry Ford) became a federally mandated standard with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. But all this is a thing of the past. Or, at least, it should be.

Employees today want flexible work hours to help them create a personalized work/life balance. For some, this could be spending evenings with family. For others, it could be sleeping in a little later to avoid morning rush hour. Either way, 88% of people in a survey said that flexible hours would sway them to take a position over a higher paying job without flexible hours.4

Job flexibility is the most popular benefit among mothers and fathers with small children. Two-fifths of American families have young children and in 61.1% of those families, both parents have full-time jobs.5 Job flexibility, such as setting their own hours or even telecommuting options, allows these workers to intermix the demands of their job with the demands of their every day lives. If you want to take flexibility to a whole other level, try switching to a 4-day work week!
Time Off & Travel Benefits
It may or may not be surprising that time off beats out other standard benefits, such as 401(k)s, as a prized offering. And the demand for PTO has been steadily increasing, with 53% of workers marking paid vacation as “very important” in 2011 as compared to 63% of workers marking the same in 2015. Workers ages 18 to 34 are clamoring for additional time off, with up to 90% of respondents in a survey indicating they would prefer time off to a pay raise.6

Motivations for time off range from a desire for new experiences to a wish for time for volunteer work to a determination to spend more time with family. However, the majority of employees are not taking their vacation days each year, so you need to get creative with your PTO offerings. Options include offering unlimited days off, requiring employees to take a minimum number of days off, and giving travel incentives to make vacations accessible for more workers. Programs like Taab are perfect to give your company the edge over the competition in recruiting new workers with time off and travel benefits.
Financial Wellness
About two-thirds of HR professionals expect an increase in the importance of financial wellness benefits to recruits in the coming years.7 The most popular financial benefit of a job (behind your salary, of course) is a 401(k). In fact, 40% of employees without one say they would leave their current job to take a position that offers a retirement plan.8

While this benefit is particularly tempting to the aging workforce who need to see their retirement savings grow quickly, millennials and younger workers need financial wellness too. This could manifest in the form of personal finance education courses, access to third-party advice for estate planning and wealth management, student loan repayment assistance, and much more.

Part of using benefits to recruit new hires is making sure they understand the benefits you offer. Leave time during interviews to discuss this and give an outline of the benefits to each potential hire so they remember all the amazing perks they will receive by joining your company. After all, employee benefits are the most important tool in your arsenal of recruitment tactics.