Importance of Employee Compensation and Benefits

Strong Compensation Equates to Effective Recruitment

Employees enjoying a catered lunch at work

skynesher / Getty Images

When it comes to attracting and recruiting the best employees, where exactly does an employee benefits package stand? According to a JobVite report and infographic, 71.6 percent of companies offer benefits that go beyond the normal health and financial benefit products that are standard in workplaces.

Most Wanted Benefits

The most-wanted benefits include flextime and remote work opportunities, corporate recreation centers and gym memberships, free food or catered meals, mentoring and development programs, and casual dress code. Interestingly, 25.2% of the polled job seeks said that benefits and perks were "very important," compared with 31.2% who said they were “moderately important,” and 33.8% who said they were “somewhat important.”

The Generational Values of Recruits 

Oftentimes, the types of employee benefits that will matter the most have a lot to do with the generation of talent the company is trying to attract. The JobVite survey revealed that 52.8% of older workers (aged 45-54) would prefer a salary increase vs. 36.1% of younger workers (aged 25-34). Millennials, who tend to stay on a job 4 years or less, are more concerned with experiencing a good balance between life and work, and they prioritize such perks as tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules, and free onsite wellness support.

Using Benefits to Recruit

When recruiting, it’s possible to leverage the employee benefits package to attract and retain the best candidates. Below are some best practices to follow for a more comprehensive approach to accomplishing this.

Design a Total Compensation Statement of an Average Employee

Pick a mid-level employee and create a statement that shows their total compensation for one year. This statement should include the salary (gross annual earnings), taking into account any potential bonuses or commissions. Then include the complete value of the health insurance benefits, dental and vision benefits, retirement savings benefits, maximum annual health or flexible savings plan benefits, company training benefit costs, onsite perks dollar value per year, and any additional perks that have an annual cost to the company.

Add Information on Employee Benefits to the Career Portal

Once you have created a snapshot of the total compensation of your workers, add this information to your career portal. Organize the benefits by type, breaking down the benefits and dollar amounts with a total value at the bottom. A graphic can be a nice way to include this information, such as a pie chart that shows the allocation of benefits. Use this as a visual tool when recruiting and interviewing candidates.

Include an Employee Benefits Overview in All Job Ads

Your employee benefits information can be included in all job advertisements, focusing on the best aspects of the benefits program. For example, word the benefits information to say something such as: "All employees are eligible for full health care coverage at 30 days of employment, plus multiple onsite perks like casual dress code, free beverages, catered lunches, and access to a corporate gym membership.”

Highlight Unique Perks and Benefits

Take the time to offer something that no other company in your industry offers. You may want to offer daycare provisions for working parents, generous time off for professional learning, or a special corporate wellness program that allows employees naptime in the afternoons. Try to come up with a unique benefits proposition that will appeal to your target candidates.

Listen to Employees to Add Value to Your Strategy

Employee benefits programs must continue to evolve as the interests and needs of candidates change. Make sure your benefits philosophy stays fluid as you develop and market programs each year. Engage with employees each year, in advance of open enrollment periods, and find out what benefits they are seeking, what they have used the most, and what is new on the horizon.