It’s tempting to rely on a decent salary to attract the best employees, but hiring managers can’t afford to overlook the importance of offering good benefits. In fact, a recent survey by Glassdoor revealed that those seeking a job are more likely to apply to a role for its benefits over its salary. Does the job cover a stay in the hospital in an emergency? Will it allow for paid time off when the employee has their first child or help you plan for retirement? If your goal is attracting talent, there are some questions that have to be answered before making your company benefits list.
What are the most important benefits to employees? We’ve got all the research-backed answers.
Health, Life and Disability Insurance
Insurance and healthcare benefits are probably the first things a prospective employee will look for. Plus, some companies (most with over 50 employees) are required by law to offer some sort of health care benefits to employees, and others may be eligible for tax credits for doing so. Employer-provided health insurance can be a lifesaver for those who’ve gone without insurance in the past, as all employees who qualify for health benefits automatically qualify to be covered by the selected health insurance company.
Paid Time Off
Paid time off is important because even all the money in the world likely won’t keep people in the office 24/7. This is a great low-cost perk to offer if you’re a smaller company that can’t offer as competitive a salary as you’d like. For many people, a work-life balance that includes things like generous vacation days is just as valuable as a salary that’s slightly higher. For many people a high quality of life goes beyond monetary compensation.
The prospect of earning additional money for reaching certain targets is certain to draw prospective employees in.
A 401k is a system in which an employee puts aside part of their paycheck to save for retirement, which is not taxed until they actually use the money. Most employers offer matching contributions up to a certain percentage of income.
As The Wall Street Journal put it, 401k’s are an insurance policy against high employee turnover. In most cases, an employee will have to stay at a company for a certain amount of time before they’re granted access to the funds the company has contributed, so it guards against employees leaving early.
Paid Sick Days
This a standard that’s expected of almost all employers. Everyone gets sick. Everyone’s child will get sick at some point. Forcing employees to come in or face a financial penalty will only end up hurting productivity in the long run.
Nothing motivates a candidate to accept a job offer like the promise of cold hard cash. While a signing bonus is probably low cost for a well-established company in the grand scheme of things, it can be the factor that makes it stand out over the competition.
With the current state of student loans, tuition reimbursement has the potential to top the importance of actual salary.
Today, 40 percent of the workforce consists of parents, but childcare can be a huge obstacle to a successful career. Often times it’s so expensive that it can be cheaper for one parent to stay at home than to continue working and send a child to full-time daycare. By offering assistance with childcare, you can keep your most valued employees in the office throughout the major stages of their life.
You can also help close the gender pay and achievement gap. Today women outpace men in obtaining college degrees, but high-level employees continue to be overwhelmingly men. This is often attributed to childcare becoming a women’s issue. By helping employees with childcare, your company can contribute to a more diverse and talented workforce.
A long commute can be one of the most discouraging parts of a new job. And while companies can’t do anything to make a traffic-heavy drive less infuriating, they can help offset the financial expense. This can take on many different forms. If you’re located in a big city, you might consider paying for monthly public transportation passes. Or it could be as simple as allowing employees to expense an Uber if they work past a certain time.
You can also offer pre-tax commuter benefits, in which the cost of commuting is withheld from an employee’s paycheck so that they don’t have to pay taxes on the expense.
This is another option that is low cost to employers but can really boost morale and entice employees.
Casual Dress Code
An often overlooked expense of job hunting is buying the wardrobe to go with a new job. Adopting a more casual dress code is virtually cost-free but can be a huge perk to employees.
On-site Flu Shots
This is a small perk that can actually boost productivity in the long run. Employees will be less likely to be out-of-office with the fluif they’ve been immunized in the office.
Free Snacks in the Break Room
The better stocked the office is, the less often employees will have to leave. If you have a wide variety of snacks to offer, including some healthy ones, they may be better able to get over that afternoon slump, or motivated to keep working for one more hour instead of running home to eat.
Allow Remote Work One Day A Week
This is a great option for employers because not only is it low cost, it actually saves money in many cases. Allowing employees to skip their commute once in a while is a huge incentive, and research that suggests remote work makes people more productive.
Read our Guide to Successfully Manage a Remote Team here.
Great benefits will not only help you get the right candidates through the door, it can help you retain them once they’re hired. If your company helps offset the cost of an employee’s commute, childcare or even student loans, provides them with great healthcare and bonuses, or even something as simple as allowing them to work remotely one day a week, they’ll be more likely to stick around.