In the past 12 months, nearly 35 percent of organizations improved their benefits by offering more choices. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, this finding shows the need for companies to remain competitive when recruiting. The most common changes in benefits packages were the addition of health and wellness offerings. Since recruitment difficulties have increased during the past several years, companies are now using tools to improve their strategies to attract and retain top talent. SHRM looked at over 300 types of benefits, and the organization added 17 new types of benefits to analyze for their current report.
A common way that employers are improving their benefits offerings is by providing health care to the spouses and domestic partners of their employees. About 70 percent of employers offered benefits to opposite-sex couples in 2014, and only about 45 percent provided the same options for same-sex couples. In 2017, the gap lessened to a disparity of only 10 percent. According to SHRM’s data from 2017, 95 percent of employers offered same-sex couples health benefits, and 85 percent of employers offered the same benefits to opposite-sex couples. Another emerging trend was offering benefits to part-time workers. Nearly 35 percent of employers offered benefits to their part-time workers in 2017. Only about 25 percent of employers offered part-time benefits in 2014.
Approximately 60 percent of companies reported having a general wellness program in place in 2017. More employers are now offering telecommuting as well. According to SHRM’s data, over 60 percent of employers offered some form of telecommuting. Nearly 60 percent offered flexible scheduling to give workers more control over their schedules. Over the past five years, the ad-hoc basis of telecommuting increased by nearly 60 percent. Since more employers are offering flexible scheduling and telecommuting now, researchers said that this shows an increasing trend in using telecommuting as a recruitment strategy.
These were some additional findings from the survey:
- Over 65 percent of female workers used all of their maternity leave while only a small fraction of men used all of their paternity leave.
- About 30 percent of companies offered paid maternity leave beyond the short-term disability leave requirements set by state law.
- About 25 percent of workplaces offered a fitness center on the premises, and another 25 percent offered gym membership programs or reimbursement programs.
- Standing desks were offered in about 45 percent of workplaces.
- More than 40 percent of the reviewed companies offered on-site lactation rooms.
- About 50 percent of employers allowed workers to dress casually.
- Over 65 percent of employers let workers keep hotel points or frequent flyer miles while they were traveling for business.
- Nearly 50 percent of companies offered free financial advice to employees.
- About 80 percent of workplaces offered free coffee.
Each of the above findings showed a significant increase in comparison with data from 2013, and some changes showed a significant increase from only one or two years prior. To learn more about changing trends and how to attract top talent with an improved benefits package, contact us.