Employee Benefits: Your Greatest Recruiting Tool

This week, I attended the Health and Benefits Conference in Vegas where I participated in the Ideas and Innovators session. The event addresses topics such as wellness, benefits, and retirement, and I focused my discussion on how companies can turn their benefits programs into their greatest recruiting tool.

Talent acquisition has changed as the competition for talent increases. And while companies are increasing their investment in ways to attract and engage talent, they aren’t always asking the most basic question:

“What makes a candidate want to join our organization?”

The reality is candidates want what employees want. They don’t want free food, a game room, or weekly lunches with their managers. Beyond salary, most candidates want flexibility in their work options, opportunities for growth, and to be treated fairly. They want the basics.

In research we conducted last year, companies identified benefits as a top reason that candidates decide to join their organization. So, how can companies start to use their benefits programs as a way to attract talent? Below are a few suggestions:

          Include benefits information on company career sites: Companies should include information about benefits programs on the career sites they use to attract candidates. This information needs to be visible to candidates when they are doing their research on a potential employer.

          Empower employees to be champions of benefits programs: If your benefit programs are good, employees are going to want to talk about them with friends and former colleagues. They will help to drive employee referrals. If your benefits programs are not good, it might be time to start empowering employees with better solutions. These efforts will boost recruiting and retention strategies.

          Create more options: Benefits programs should not be a one size fits all approach. Employees have different needs and different expectations from employers. When creating messaging around benefits programs, it will be helpful to show different options available to support employees including wellbeing programs, maternity leave, financial wellness, and retirement plans.

Sometimes the best way to attract talent, is to focus on the basics and solve for what candidates want. By improving benefits programs, companies are addressing both the needs of employees and the needs of candidates.