A competitive employee benefits package is critically important when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a hot job market. But when you spend your days immersed in your own employees’ benefits, it can be tough to find time to get out there and see what you’re up against. Here are 5 smart ways to stay ahead of the competition.
Survey your employees
Want to know how competitive your employee benefits package really is? Ask your employees. Chances are if they are active in professional networks – or have considered a career move – they have a good idea of what the competition may be offering. If you conduct an annual employee feedback survey, consider including a question or two about how employees feel about their benefits. If you don’t already have an employee survey, consider adding one – and think about implementing the changes suggested. Offering a short, anonymous survey can help you get critical feedback on benefits and goodwill from employees who appreciate being asked.
Gather intel when employees move on
No one likes goodbyes, but if an employee has decided to move on, make sure you use this time as an opportunity to get candid feedback. This can be a great way to find out what departing employees thought of your employee benefits package before they move on to their next gig. But don’t stop there – if they have another job lined up, see if they’d be willing to share information about their new employer’s benefits package.
Talk to job candidates who turned you down
When a prospect doesn’t accept what you think is an amazing job offer make sure that you, or the recruiter, ask them why. Sure, they’ll probably say it’s the money, but try to probe a bit and see if your benefits package was enticing or not. If the candidate decided to take a position at another employer, see if they’d be willing to share information on how their employee benefits package stacks up to yours.
Engage with your peers
There is no substitute for some good old-fashioned networking. Subscribe to a trade publication (such as Employee Benefit News or SHRM), attend an industry conference, or join a local chamber of commerce. But don’t just be a passive attendee at industry events — come prepared with questions for your fellow attendees, including what types of benefits they offer, what has worked and not worked, and what other types of benefits they are exploring. Be prepared to share your personal and company perspectives.
Work with a benefits advisor or a broker
A good employee benefits broker or advisor will use industry-specific benefits benchmarking and experience working with companies like yours to help you create an employee benefits package that will help you stand out from the competition. It’s an employee benefits broker’s job to have their finger on the pulse of what makes a competitive employee benefits package and you should definitely leverage their expertise whenever possible.
Creating a competitive employee benefits package can feel a daunting task, but following these tips should give you a solid starting point.