Employers of all sizes and industries are struggling to find the talent they need. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment had been maintaining a historic low of 3.5%. Baby Boomers (those born in the 1950s and 1960s) are retiring and leaving an experience gap in their wake, while the average tenure of a Millennial (those born in the early 1980s to early 2000s) employee is just two years. As unemployment rates signal a rebound from the highest point in 2020, the war for talent in many industries is as competitive as ever, and the impact is tangible.
Without the right mix of talent to drive your company forward, you’ll forfeit revenue and miss growth opportunities — and the longer it takes to make a hire, the more it hits your bottom-line. Recent studies have indicated that the total cost of hiring one new employee could be as high as $4,200 or more in a professional or manufacturing setting. Today’s job search environment is a candidate-controlled marketplace in the most competitive industries — such as technology and healthcare — where experienced talent is in-demand and hard to come by.
So how are employers differentiating themselves from the competition to attract and retain top talent?
One way is by offering progressive employee benefits. Many employers have adopted new-age benefits such as unlimited vacation time, flexible hours, pet insurance, several health and wellness perks, and more. As more workers have moved to a remote, work-from-home indefinitely situation, employers are also looking for flexible, use-anywhere benefits to appeal to a remote workforce. By putting an emphasis on the benefits that most appeal to their workforce culture, Benefits and Total Rewards managers can help retain the top talent they have and attract the type of candidates they want.
The value of benefits to job seekers and employees is becoming increasingly important. A Glassdoor study reported that nearly four out of five employees (79%) would prefer new or additional benefits as opposed to a pay raise. When organizations invest in creative and comprehensive benefits, it shows current and prospective talent that they truly care about the culture, happiness, and well-being of their workforce.
As a result, overall wellness has been an ongoing theme of progressive employee benefits. Taking into consideration the holistic employee experience, employers want to create a nurturing environment that promotes mental, physical, and financial wellness through both voluntary and employer-paid benefits.
The fastest-growing of these progressive benefits is Identity Protection Services. In the wake of 2017, a year that ushered in unprecedented numbers of data breaches and exposed personal information from the Equifax data breach that impacted nearly half of all Americans, HR teams and Total Rewards professionals have realized the scope of damage that compromised personal information can cause. This benefit was made even more attractive when the IRS recognized identity theft protection as a non-taxable, non-reportable benefit whether provided by an employer to employees, or by a business to its customers.
By adding identity theft protection to your benefits stack, employees and employers can help prevent or minimize the harmful effects of having their sensitive personal information stolen. As Sontiq’s annual Employee Benefit Broker research has shown, peace of mind is an extremely valuable benefit for top talent. With a new year upon us and a fresh start to delivering impactful employee benefits, be sure to evaluate your culture and identify the perks that will reinforce a positive employee experience, while also fueling a competitive advantage for your hiring strategy.