You can’t have a discussion about recruitment or retention without employee benefits. They are a foundational pillar in who you are as an employer. Your workforce and candidates alike will judge your value as an organization based on the employee benefits package you offer. And rightfully so, given employees spend about 1/3 of their lives at work.
However, your workforce may not be as happy with your employee benefits as you might think. Research shows that less than half (40 percent) of employees feel their company has employee benefits that actually help them.
This article will help you understand the importance of employee benefits, which employee benefits matter most and how you can use your company’s employee benefits to improve your recruitment strategy.
Employee Benefits Definition
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What are employee benefits?
Before we get too far, let’s take a step back and define exactly what employee benefits are. Employee benefits are additional perks on top of an employee’s salary. They can be intangible or tangible in nature, but always offer additional support to an employee’s overall well being.
Companies are expected to offer employee benefits within a compensation package. Some benefits are required by law, while others are offered as additional support for an employee or as a way to stand out amongst talent competitors.
Examples of Employee Benefits
While employee benefits can be categorized in many different ways, Benify suggests the following four categories when thinking about your company’s benefits package. We’ve laid out some of the most common benefits company’s offer within each of these categories.
Work Environment Benefits
These are the benefits employers offer to support a proper working environment. Most of a company’s benefits package will fall under this category. Here are some examples of work environment benefits:
- Paid Time Off
- Paid Sick Days
- Casual Dress
- Professional Development Stipend
- Culture Clubs or Committees
- Paid Parking
- Happy Hours
- Stocked Kitchen
- Pet-Friendly Office
- Remote Work Program
Health & Wellness Benefits
The employee benefits that fall under this category are all about the mental and physical well-being of a company’s workforce. They range from more traditional offerings like health insurance to ones that have grown more common in the past few years like mental health benefits. Here are some examples to inspire your own benefits package:
- Health Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Dental Benefits
- Family Medical Leave
- Wellness Programs
- Fitness Subsidy
- On-Site Gym
- Mental Health Days
- Team Workouts
Financial Security Benefits
Financial security benefits are perks that offer employees additional compensation support beyond their salary. These help incorporate additional monetary value to an employee’s overall compensation package. Here are just a few examples of what financial security benefits might look like in your organization:
- 401(K) Employee Match Program
- Disability Insurance
- Match Employee’s Charitable Contributions
- Relocation Assistance
- Education Reimbursement
- Company Equity
- Performance Bonus
This category includes all of the employee benefits that go above and beyond to make an employee’s life easier, including promoting better work-life balance. These benefits are sometimes more unique to offer but help a company stand out against talent competitors.
- Commuter Benefits
- Pet Insurance
- Legal Services
- Child Care
- Daily Meals Provided
- Generous or Unlimited PTO
Why Employee Benefits Matter
Employee benefits aren’t just necessary to running a company, they can actually benefit the bottom line of your business. Here’s how.
Better Retention Rates
Employee benefits impact your success recruiting candidates and keeping them happy and engaged as employees. Your workforce directly benefits from these offerings, so making sure their needs are addressed by the package you offer is important.
In fact, 69 percent of employees would be more loyal to their company if it offered a wide range of employee benefits. And increased loyalty means a better chance of retaining your workforce. Being happy within a role is also another way to retain employees and your employee benefits can help with that. Survey data shows 72 percent of employees would be more satisfied with their job if more benefits were offered by their company.
Attract More Talent
There are a lot of factors that influence a candidate’s decision making process regarding which company they want to work for. Yet, one of the most common is a company’s employee perks. Survey data shows how a company’s employee benefits support work-life balance is a top concern during a job search. And it’s not just a candidate’s potential working life that is important: 48 percent of candidates factor in more unique perks like snacks into their employment decision as well.
You won’t be able to meet every candidate’s need with your employee benefits package but understanding the importance of them in the job search is vital to your hiring success. It’s not just about having a great recruitment strategy, you must be able to sell the candidates on working for you once they are in your talent pipeline — and employee benefits can help you do just that.
Positively Influence Job Offers
The influence of employee benefits doesn’t stop at attracting more talent, it also influences a candidate's final decision of whether or not to work for your company. Once a job offer is on the table, 60 percent of candidates strongly factor in the company’s employee benefits before accepting the role. This is critical. You’ve spent all of this time (and money) to get this candidate to the final stages of your hiring process, don’t let them slip away because your employee benefits weren't up to par.
Still not convinced employee benefits are that important? A majority of employees (80 percent) would rather have more employee benefits than additional pay. This is just another indicator of how important a solid benefits package is in your overall compensation for a role. It could be the difference between hiring your ideal candidate and having to restart your recruitment process from square one.
The Most Desirable Employee Benefits
Knowing how important employee benefits are can make it difficult to identify exactly which ones are right for your organization. After all, there are an infinite amount of benefits to choose from. Asking your workforce for their thoughts on your benefits package and what’s missing can be extremely helpful in determining which benefits you should invest in.
It’s also helpful to understand which benefits candidates are most interested in. This will help you proactively meet the needs of future employees and attract more of the talent you need. But that’s easier said than done. Luckily, we’ve done some research for you.
We analyzed first-party user behavior surrounding employee benefits across seven of our online communities throughout 2020 to determine which were most in demand among tech candidates. Website visitors have a list of 76 options from which to choose. Our findings show the following employee benefits were the most popular among technology professionals nationwide in 2020:
- Remote Work
- Pet-Friendly Office
- Unlimited Paid Time Off
- Tuition Reimbursement
- 401(K) Matching
- Relocation Assistance
- Child Care
- Generous Parental Leave
- Daily Meals Provided
- Company Equity
So how does this compare to the year prior? Here’s some of the biggest changes we saw: remote work went from the third most sought-after benefit in 2019 to the most popular in 2020, emphasizing the impact of companies working remotely due to the pandemic. Another benefit that saw a large jump year over year was relocation assistance: It was the ninth most desired benefit in 2019 but rose to the sixth spot in 2020.
We breakdown the data even further by location and analyze the trends to watch in 2021 in this report. Download it now to see all of the research we did on employee benefits.
One thing to keep in mind is that your employee benefits package should never stay stagnant. The year 2020 proved that a working environment can change quickly and so does an employee's needs. Being flexible in your offerings will ensure you’re always aligned with both your employees’ and candidates’ expectations.
3 Ways to Showcase Employee Benefits in Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve narrowed down the employee benefits you’re going to offer, it’s time to show them off. Research shows the companies who strategically use their employee benefits have better recruitment success: 58 percent vs. 24 percent, respectively.
To help you do that, we’ve outlined a few ways you can make employee benefits a pillar of your recruitment marketing strategy.
Make Employee Benefits Prominent on Your Careers Page
Your careers page is the place to show off why you’re a great employer so it’s vital you’re showcasing your employee benefits. And don’t just mention the ones every company offers, really highlight the benefits you know candidates want or your employees enjoy most. Sharing your more unique employee benefits will help differentiate your company from your talent competitors.
Emphasize Employee Benefits in Your Employer Branding Content
Show off the impact your employee benefits have by interviewing employees about their favorite benefits and how they’ve helped them. Maybe you have a parent who took advantage of your robust parental leave program or an employee got their MBA and used your educational reimbursement program.
All of these stories will help put more legitimacy behind your employee benefits and make them memorable. Candidates will be able to picture themselves working at your company and enjoying these benefits.
Mention Employee Benefits in the Interview Process
While an interview process is typically spent assessing a candidate’s fit, it’s also important you find time to sell your company as a great place to work. Briefly talking through the employee benefits that differentiate you as an employer and how your employees have benefited from them will help seal the deal, especially since we know that candidates heavily weigh employee benefits in their final employment decisions. This is especially important if you’re hiring sought-after talent. You must make sure you discuss your employee benefits prior to sending them a job offer, doing so will help you get one step closer to getting the right employees to work for you.
Employee benefits are a staple of who you are as an employer. They signal to candidates how you treat employees and offer a sense of value to your existing workforce. Spending time to thoughtfully consider your employee benefits is well worth the investment and your organization will reap the benefits of doing so for years to come.
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