Using Employee Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Employees

Using Employee Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Employees

Alan Pfeffer and Gregory Feigenbaum
March 21, 2019

With the improving economy, finding and keeping good employees is becoming more and more difficult, and with competitors optimizing their benefits offerings and working to recruit your best employees away, your organization may be looking for better ideas in order to compete.

There are many things that impact employee recruitment and retention including organizational climate, process efficiency, internal communication processes, and the use of optimal technologies to support employees in meeting goals and expectations.  However, employee benefits can play a major role in recruiting and retaining top employees. With this competitive pressure, along with looming rising premiums in 2019, now is the time to become creative in making the most of your organization’s employee benefits.

Meeting this challenge may not be as tough as you think. Research conducted by Fractyl found that “after health insurance, employees place the highest value on benefits that are relatively low-cost to employers, such as flexible hours, more paid vacation time, and work-from-home options. Furthermore, we found that certain benefits can win over some job seekers faced with higher-paying offers that come with fewer additional advantages.”

More and more organizations are looking at the innovative use of reimbursement accounts (See our recent blog post for a brief discussion on how employers are leveraging HSAs). With the increase in High Deductible Health Plans and HSA adoption, many employers who have already made the jump into the HSA are evaluating increasing deductibles but offsetting this new deductible exposure to the employee with an HRA. If structured correctly, a plan can have an HSA & HRA at the same time. Some employers are funding the employees’ HSAs (in part or in whole) in order to decrease employees’ exposure to increasing health care costs.  An added plus: employers’ innovations in these areas are allowing employees to save more for retirement.  Other employers have adopted additional benefits including tuition reimbursement, student loan support, childcare reimbursement and commuter reimbursement accounts.

Voluntary benefits can provide an easy way to strengthen an employer’s benefits offering while not incurring any increased costs.  Whether it be implementing Voluntary Life for employees and their dependents or additional Long Term Disability coverage, Voluntary Benefits can offer a plethora of benefit enhancements that employees value.  You especially want to evaluate how your benefits compare to competitors who can hire your employees away.  In addition to the ideas offered above, is there an opportunity to improve anything else?  Many employers are creating a larger allotment of PTO hours that would provide for time off replacing former sick days, vacation days, and personal days into one larger PTO “bank.”

The improvement in the economy has created unique opportunities for employers in working with executives.  While costly, many businesses are looking to bolster their benefits package for their top producers and managers to share in increased profits, and they believe it’s worth it. It is a key recruiting and retention tool for top talent, especially with the lack of availability of pension plans. Businesses are increasingly implementing Employer-paid, individually owned, Life & Disability policies with Cash Value components. 

In summary, there are many ways you can improve your benefits without necessarily incurring greater cost.  Now that we are well into 2019, now is an ideal time to rethink your benefits to help recruit and retain the best employees.

Alan Pfeffer has been an Employee Benefits Consultant for both profit and not-for-profit businesses for more than twenty-five years. His area of focus has been in the design, implementation, communication, and administration of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. His expertise also includes evaluating the effectiveness of retirement plan investments.

Gregory Feigenbaum has over ten years experience working for/with insurance carriers and agencies. Greg specializes in the design, implementation, communication and administration of all types of benefit plans (including medical, dental and other ancillary benefits) and is responsible for developing custom plans to meet the needs and expectations of his clients and their employees.

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