Employee Benefits and Hiring in a Time of Uncertainty

HR consulting Denver

Uncertain times have resulted in a marked increase inretrenchments as the economy slowed, main street shopping precincts closed, hospitality shut down and many businesses have downsized.As the light flickers at the end of the tunnel there has been a brief recovery in certain sectors such as IT, e-commerce, logistics and grocery sales. There is some expectation that the remaining sectors of the economy will also soon bounce back and in this regard recruitment for a post Covid economy is starting to gather pace.

Employee benefits more important than salary in the US

On the whole, US employees, and those all over the world, are interested in being paid their worth. Salary is important, yet there has been ongoing debate as to whether the additional benefits employees are offered is on par with or rated higher than salary for some when it comes to choosing where to work. Many have argued that benefits such as medical or dental, retirement and pensions and even the small perks and special prices at restaurants, spas and family outings are what determines not only an employee’s decision to accept employment, but also to stay in employment. A survey in the accounting sector  found that over half the respondents cited benefits as the main way for them to reach all their financial goals. Salary alone was not enough, and if this is what the accountants are saying then one would suggest it is important to recognize this trend and to then effectively use benefits in the recruitment and retention process.

Retaining talent is one of the main things your HR must be able to do, particularly in a time were quality rules and having the most highly skilled and experienced employees may be the thing that keeps you ahead of your competitors. Versatile skills and experience will be key to getting the economy moving again and recruitment will have to understand how to drive this process of re-hiring for growth in a time of uncertainty.

The employee benefits that Human Resources must know about

If, as the data suggests, only a third of Americans are confident that they are using their benefits correctly to maximize their economic returns from employment, then it is a must that your HR is able to clearly decipher what they are entitled to and explain this in a manner that builds confidence in the organization. Job seekers and employees want transparency with pay. In order to decide to take a job or stay in a job one needs to have all the information, and the main type of information people want will be their financial gain from the role. Employers and HR must make such information available to potential employees and current employees in a proactive manner. No employee wants to feel awkward asking about any extra benefits or how they can access health care support and insurance. Make sure that all the cards are on the table from the get-go, particularly where employee benefits are concerned.

Disability, dental, medical, 401K plans, paid time off, retirement and pensions are the main benefits that a competent HR or recruitment firm must be aware of. These are the key issues that will drive the right kind of staff to your organization. There are also additional company benefits that are useful in the drive for staff retention and these will vary according to what the employees need or what the company can afford, from gym memberships and exercise classes to discounts on home and auto insurance.

Whether it is HR consulting Denver or the internal HR department, they must know how best to recruit the right staff and then keep these staff. Employee benefits are the key feature in this process.

How to offer the right employee benefits

Knowing how to access the right type of benefits to suit the diversity of staff that are hired will be key. Employees at different stages of their careers will be interested in different benefits, such as those with families versus the singles out there. Their priorities are different and as such the HR in employ must understand this in the process of recruitment.

Millennials for example, who are the largest grouping of employed individuals in the US economy are career driven, but more than other groups they are interested in benefits that improve their work life balance. Paid time off, flexible hours and remote work have been the benefits that they would change jobs for. While overall a good health plan and 401K retirement plans are the benefits that most professional employees are looking for.

Thus,HR must be able to adjust the benefits package accordingly and still keep within budget for the role. This will require good communication and ongoing consultation with the finance department as well as some creativity and flexibility. Rather then a set, formulaic response to employee benefits, it should be an exciting area of HR and can be used in a subtle way to positively affect performance. Be careful, however, not to relate all additional benefits to performance as some are generic and should be provided across the board.

Making benefits work for the business

In designing and offering a great benefits package, you should be sure not to break the bank. Even for the top talent in any field, you need to maintain the financial viability of the business and only offer what is affordable, as determined by the cost benefit analysis and full staffing cost assessment. A good HR must know how to design a renumeration package using benefits as a mode of savings as well as the means to build company culture. The quirky benefits can be a means of getting staff together off site, in the form of reward days for team performance and on-site socials.

As the re-hiring process starts and the economy kicks into gear, your business should prepare for growth. There are a multitude of highly skilled people out there looking for work at the moment. As you take on additional staff and look to retrain or retain them, you will need to offer them more than money. Make sure that your HR is in the know and aware of the importance of benefits and their use as a draw-card.

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