Health Insurance & Retirement Benefits Crucial To Attracting and Retaining Talent

Health Insurance & Retirement Benefits Crucial To Attracting and Retaining Talent

If you want to attract the best employee talent, invest in your company benefits package – especially your health insurance & retirement benefits packages. A 2017 study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that companies that offer health and retirement benefits still have a huge advantage over companies that do not, when it comes to attracting the best workers.

Key findings of the EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey include:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 employees say that employer-paid health insurance is “extremely important” or “very important” consideration when choosing where they plan to work, making major medical insurance the most important single benefit employers can offer for the widest cross-section of employees.
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 employees, or 77 percent, say that a retirement savings plan is “extremely important” or “very important.”
  • Over 7 out of 10 workers surveyed (72 percent) reported that a dental or vision plan was “extremely important” or “very important”
  • Employees are open to guidance: Nearly two thirds told researchers they would welcome advice or coaching from third-party firms, whether in person or via online instruction and education.

The survey also found that 20 percent of workers are not satisfied with the benefits their employers currently offer, making them prime targets for recruiters seeking to reach passive job seekers to hire them away. Another 32 percent of workers reported being only “somewhat satisfied” with their employee benefit package.

This means that the majority of workers – 52 percent – are restless about their company’s employee benefits, and may be open to a better offer, if not actively looking.

Additionally, the survey found that workers consistently identify cost savings and the ability to pay pre-tax or through payroll deduction for employee benefits as significant advantages of employee benefits.

Demand is high.

In addition to the strong demand expressed for major medical insurance and retirement benefits, survey respondents also ranked another of other common employee benefits as very high in importance.

53 percent of workers rank employer-sponsored life insurance as “very important” or “extremely important,” 48 percent place significant importance on retiree health insurance packages, and 52 percent place significant importance on disability insurance. 72 percent place significant importance on dental and vision plans.

At the same time, another study from MetLife found that appetite for workplace flexibility is increasing, with more than half of employees surveyed reporting they are interested in contract work, telecommuting or working from home, and more variety in assignments. Millennials are particularly attracted to the so-called ‘gig economy’ with nearly two out of three saying they are interested in a freelance or quasi-freelance work situation. But more than half of Generation X workers and over 40 percent of Baby Boomers are also increasingly interested in escaping from the 9 to 5 workplace.

“To attract and retain top talent in this new era, especially during a time of decreasing unemployment rates, employers have an opportunity to adapt their workplaces to address the unique needs of their employees,” said Todd Katz, executive vice president of group benefits at MetLife.

As employers fight to retain top talent, they are placing more emphasis on the customizability of their workplace benefits. With four generations working side-by-side in many workplaces, it’s clear that one benefits package does not fit all, and so employers are increasingly emphasizing choice, ‘cafeteria plans’ and an expanding menu of both benefits and work/life balance options.

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