How to Use Your Employee Benefits Package in the Recruitment Process

How to Leverage Your Benefits Package in the Recruitment ProcessThere's an ongoing war over talent. It takes the average company over 40 days to find a highly qualified candidate. Still, half of job seekers reject a job after the interview, while top-level candidates get hired in an average of 10 days. In other words, you can find an employee, but you want highly-qualified, action-ready, culture-driven candidates that can help your company grow.

Unfortunately, if you want the right candidate, you have to step into the boxing ring. Your competitors are trying to lure in the same talent. Adjacent industries are looking to cross-skill or upskill your talent into a new profession. Here's a secret: benefits win talent. We all like to think of salary as the de facto talent magnet; the truth is, it's benefits. According to exit poll data, a mere 12% of employees leave their jobs to pursue higher wages. Yet, HRDive reports that over 50% of US workers have left their jobs to pursue better benefits. This is where having a strong employee benefits package can decide whether you get the top-level candidate you've been interviewing.

Health insurance, PTO, dental, vision, life insurance, and all of the other value-added benefits aren't just great for retention. For example, eighty percent of employees would keep a job with better benefits over a job with a higher salary. They are the most significant tool in your hiring arsenal. Here are a few ways you can use your employee benefits package to drive your recruitment process.

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What Makes Your Company and Your Employee Benefits Package Different

Around 90% of businesses offer health insurance coverage. If you want to lure in top talent, talk about what makes you and your employee benefits package different—don't just emphasize your run-of-the-mill benefits. Some common employee benefits that attract top talent include:

    • Unlimited PTO: Here's the secret to unlimited PTO—it works. It's more attractive for employees. Believe it or not, employees with unlimited PTO take an average of 13 days off of work per year. Employees with capped PTO take off 15 days because they feel forced to utilize their PTO.
    • Flexible Work Hours: Seventy-six percent of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours. Seventy-eight percent said it made them more productive, and 77% say that flexible work hours are a key consideration when they're job hunting. In other words, flexible hours are a massive bonus for prospects.
    • Working Remotely: Chances are, you're intimately familiar with offering remote work by now—especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees want those capabilities to stay. Ninety percent say that being able to work remotely increases their morale and 86% say they suffer less job stress.
    • Wellness Programs: Seventy-three percent of workers say that wellness programs are a key consideration when surfing job boards. Wellness programs are great for your company (they boost productivity), and they're cost-effective.
    • Tuition Reimbursement: Eighty-two percent of employees who utilize tuition reimbursement programs say it makes them better employees. Seventy-six percent say it makes them more likely to remain at their organization.

Show Applicants How You Will Take Care of Them

When in the hiring process, you still need to emphasize the core four types of employee benefits (i.e., medical, life, disability, retirement). However, instead of framing the conversation around a big-picture view of your employee benefits packages, find the granular details that set you apart from your competitors. Do you offer a unique sick leave policy? Is your life insurance better than your competitors? Does your health insurance cover the rapidly emerging telehealth services?

Always sell your overall employee benefits, sure. But it’s also important to remember to talk about what separates you from the rest of the pack. It's those unique benefits that will draw in prospects—not the benefits nearly everyone offers. Obviously, they still need to understand you offer the basics, but emphasizing the benefits that go beyond those basics can be seen as an added bonus.

Focus on Your Employee's Future

Recruitment is a two-sided coin. You want to draw in high-quality talent, but you also want to keep that talent at your company. Focusing on future-driven benefits is a surefire way to boost retention rates before an employee even starts their job. There are plenty of benefits that are future-driven, including:

  • Retirement & 401k: This is the obvious one. Retirement benefits are huge for employees. They rank directly behind healthcare. In fact, 81% of employees say that retirement benefits make up the bulk of their job hunt.
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave: The number of employers offering paid paternity leave has doubled over the last few years for a reason—employees crave it. While most employers offer maternity leave, paternity leave is still a golden egg. It's a great way to attract top talent, especially if they're looking to have children.
  • Severance Packages: Talking about severance packages may sound strange, but it helps calm employee nerves. Here's a secret: 97% of employers offer severance packages, but only 55% put it in writing. That's an immediate way to stand out.

Employee Benefits Are Your Secret Hiring Weapon

Salary is important. However, employee benefits are the elephant in the room. For many prospects, benefits are weighed more heavily than salary, as long as the difference isn't massive. If you want high-quality talent, talk benefits. Emphasize what makes your benefits unique, attractive, and superior to your talent-hungry competitors. That way, you’ll set yourself apart, and attract a loyal team of high performers ready to help your company achieve results. 

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