Recruiting top talent is becoming more difficult. One recruitment tool being leveraged to recruit top talent is benefits. A March 2015 SHRM survey reports that employers are tuned into benefits as a recruitment tool. More frequently employers are using their benefits packages as the reason for someone to change jobs.
Employers realize that as basic needs are met in the area of salary expectations, one of the key differentiators available is the completeness and generosity of benefits. Top talent may need more than just the next good job to leave the current situation and move to a new employer. The recruitment of top talent requires some creativity and since most are well compensated from a base pay perspective, the benefits become the draw that will allow them to improve total compensation when moving to a new employer.
Employers report that they will be leveraging a collection of employee benefits more significantly in the years ahead. This continues the trend reported in the survey of using benefits to recruit in recent years. Some of the benefits seen as most important to recruitment efforts are:
- Performance and career development benefits
- Healthcare benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Wellness and preventative benefits
- Flexible work arrangements benefits
- Family-friendly benefits
- Leave benefits
It is obvious that strong knowledge of market compensation is a first step in successful recruitment of talent. That knowledge is more easily gained by salary surveys and the use of effective independent recruiting resources. A good independent recruiter is often able to get accurate details on current compensation as well as desired salary and bonus to attract top talent. Recruiters with industry specialization can offer details on similar placements in recent months. Benefits are a bit more elusive and may require benchmarking to understand the competitiveness of an employer’s complete offering. Adding to the complexity of using benefits to recruit is that not all candidates value all benefits equally. Depending on age, career stage, family situations, the importance of each benefit could vary. In pre-employment situations it is difficult to gauge the relative importance of each benefit without approaching dangerous discriminatory questions. In many cases employers must work with generalizations about the importance of benefits to provide a great package for the candidate to evaluate based on his or her situation. So, there is cost and time invested in benefits that have limited value to the candidates being recruited.
When do you think benefits enter into a candidates evaluation process for a job? Is it early on or only after then are ready to make the change of employers?
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