Stephanie Dwilson

Attracting Talent With Benefits: Top Benefits of 2017

If you’re interested in attracting talent with benefits, a good place to start is by looking at what were the most popular benefits in 2017. Benefits can be a great way to find good people and keep your current employees around. Even if you don’t have the budget to compete with larger companies salary-wise, the benefits that you offer can still set your business apart from the crowd.

Top Benefits from 2017

Many health benefits are growing in popularity in 2017, according to the 2017 Benefits Survey by Kaiser. The most desired benefits for this year range from voluntary benefits to flexible work schedules, HBR reported.

Here’s a quick look at some of the top benefits you might want to consider offering:

  • HSAs: In just 10 years, participation in HSAs has increased nearly seven-fold, AHIP reported. If you offer a variety of plans, consider including a high-deductible plan coupled with an HSA.
  • Family Leave Benefits: Parental leave is one of the trends that made some companies stand out in 2017, EBN reported. American Express, for example, gives up to five months of fully paid leave to mothers and fathers. Offering paid time off for parental leave and even elderly caregiving can give your company a big boost.
  • Ancillary benefits: Benefits such as dental care, life insurance, full vision coverage and financial programs are growing in popularity. Talk to your health care broker about bundling dental and vision coverage with your health plans.
  • Flexible schedules: Flex schedules and remote work are also in higher demand. These don’t cost you much, but they can make a big impression on potential hires.
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs): Southwest is listed as one of the top benefits companies because of its EAP. EAPs are a fully-funded supplement to health insurance, typically costing just $12 to $20 a year per employee. They offer confidential services like counseling, legal assistance and financial assistance. For a low investment, they can decrease work absences and increase productivity.
  • Wellness programs: Programs that promote healthier living are becoming increasingly popular and it’s possible to integrate wellness programs with your group health insurance. This may include chronic disease management, exercise classes, meditation classes, health screenings and more.
  • Ease of access: Many employees enjoy easy access to telemedicine, a nurse hotline or retail health clinics. Health plans that include these perks are far more enticing.

How to Stand Out

Even if you can’t offer the most expensive health plans, you can still craft an employee benefits package that truly stands out. First, make it clear that wellness is a top priority by telling new recruits about a wellness program or stipend that you offer in addition to your health plans. For example, according to Business Insider, Eventbrite gives employees a $60 monthly wellness stipend that can be spent on items like gym fees or even juice cleanses. Microsoft offers $800 a year for gyms or fitness programs.

Stress that your company prides itself on putting employees first by offering paid time off for doctor’s appointments, flexible hours and remote work. Even offering unlimited time off instead of extra vacation days can make your benefits program shine. As an added bonus: With unlimited PTO, you won’t be on the hook for paying unused vacation if an employee resigns. You can also offer add-ons from third parties, like accidental coverage and hospitalization coverage, so that employees who want to invest a little more in their own health have that opportunity.

Finding room in your budget for health care is worthwhile because it shows prospective hires how much they’re valued. One small business, Mungo Creative Group, adds 30 percent to every new hire’s salary in their budget to cover health expenses. Comprehensive plans are worthwhile because they give employees security and a feeling of belonging to a company that cares about their future. This is key to attracting talent with benefits.

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