With more and more startups emerging every year, it has become abundantly clear that for a company to keep their best employees, they need to come up with a substantial benefits package, that will motivate them to continue and thrive in their organisation.
According to The Harvard Business Review, 60% of job seekers stated that great perks and a healthy benefits portfolio are the main reason they consider applying to a company. Not only are good benefits and perks at the forefront of things to consider today for anyone looking for a job, but according to a study by Guardian Insurance, it is a great cause of anxiety if they can’t find what they are looking for. Many have overwhelming student loan debt coupled with the anxiety about not having enough saved for retirement. All of this factor into the Guardians rating on the Workforce Well-Being Index of emotional and physical stability and these factors put job seekers at a 3.26 out 5 rating.
With so many businesses performing their own studies regarding what they need to offer to attract the best candidates to their companies, there are five that rank among the most important to potential employees based on several recent studies:
1. Health, Dental, Vision and Other Insurance
Many companies are now turning to actual benefit consulting firms to ensure they are offering the most competitive health benefits package they can to potential employees.
More choices in Medical Plans:
• Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans: Very popular with most employees because you have such a variety of medical doctors to choose from in a network.
• Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans: Preferred by employees who visit specialists on a regular basis and very similar to an HMO
• Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans: Only medical doctors in the network are covered and not a plan that is popular with employees even though many more companies are now offering it in the past three to four years.
• Point of Service (POS) plans: A combination of an HMO and PPO where you choose a primary care physician, but you have some flexibility to go out-of-network. Becoming a more common option for employees.
• Health Savings Account: Many more companies are now offering what are called health savings accounts (HAS). The percentage in the past two years has gone from 43% to 50%. These will give employees an opportunity to put a percentage of their check toward a savings account that they can use in case of a catastrophic illness.
Accident Insurance: Nearly all companies offer some form of accident insurance, taking into consideration that most companies have experienced at some point a work-related injury. Now, this coverage is getting expanded by more and more companies to include identity theft because of the prevalent use of laptops and mobile devices as part of an employee’s daily routine.
Dental Insurance: Dental hygiene is no longer a luxury, and employees want this coverage more than ever. Most companies will offer them as a separate policy from vision and medical insurance. As an exception, 91% of structural engineers benefit from dental and vision coverage, due to the nature of their occupation, more so than any other profession out there.
Disability Insurance: Many workers find themselves unexpectedly unable to work. Typically, a disabled worker is off for three months. So, employers want to make sure that their employees are offered this insurance because most employees will expect that it is offered.
Life Insurance: Employees want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of in the event that something happens to them unexpectedly, so they are expecting that a company will offer them a life insurance policy that will secure that safety net for their family if they need it.
2. Flexible Hours
There is no longer a line drawn between large and small companies when it comes to the largest companies only offering the best flexible time. In fact, studies today have shown that smaller companies with less than 100 employees are showing a trend in offering a variety of starting and ending times, more control over individual break time, and time off during the week including four-day work weeks or working from home instead.
More employees with children are looking for companies that are realistic about having their employees spend quality time with their children. As much as 93% of employees with kids would consider changing jobs even if it meant less pay if the company was very flexible about their time in the office. So, a work and life balance is a key factor in attracting potential candidates to your business.
3. Optimal Vacation Time
According to a study published in Oxford Economics, at least 80% of the employees that were surveyed stated that vacation time is one of the most appealing benefits that a company could offer. Unfortunately, many companies may offer vacation time to their employees, but they do not give them actual time to take it. This has resulted in the same study finding that U.S. employees do not use almost $230 million in vacation time every year and end up losing it.
Some employees are actually afraid to take time off work. So, it is very important to most job seekers that they find a company that not only gives them the benefit of vacation time, but also gives them optimal time to use it without fear of falling behind at work or leaving someone else in charge.
4. Working from Home
Even though every employer’s work-at-home policy may vary depending on your job duties, just having the option is something that most employees are looking for before they commit to a company. From an employee’s perspective, it allows someone with children to save on daycare costs. It also can save on gas, vehicle wear and tear, and the anxiety of daily commuting. From an employer’s perspective, it will cut down on absenteeism and tends to increase the level of productivity within a company.
5. Student Loan Assistance
Finding an employer that will help with paying off student loans is becoming almost a must among the every-growing employee candidate pool of millennials leaving college with over $100,000 in student loan debt. With only 3% of companies offering student loan help, many companies are now realising that this is something they must offer, and are realising that they can take advantage of tax breaks for themselves if they do.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.