- The competitive job market and stagnant wages are driving more organizations to use benefits — particularly healthcare, retirement savings programs, etc. — to help recruit and retain top talent, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey reports.
- SHRM’s 2015 Strategic Benefits Survey found that 38% of respondents said their organization leveraged benefits to recruit employees at all levels during the past 12 months, a statistically significant increase from 26% in 2013 and 29% in 2012.
- With more than 50% of respondents saying their organizations had difficulty recruiting highly skilled employees, 40% said their organizations used benefits to lure these hard-to-recruit employees during the past 12 months - a 10 percentage point boost since 2013.
“While the competition for talented workers has heated up, there has been little change in base salaries. So HR has strategically turned to benefits to attract — and keep — skilled professionals,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs. “From unlimited vacation to unusual perks such as electric car charging stations, companies are using benefits to set themselves apart from the competition.”
To retain employees at all levels, one-third of HR professionals looked to benefits in the past 12 months, a statistically significant increase from 18% in 2013 and 20% in 2012. What is the most important benefit? No surprise here, as healthcare coverage leads the list. A whopping 96% of the 460 HR professionals randomly surveyed reports their organizations offer healthcare plans for 2015. The same participants report their organizations paying on average 76% of employees’ total health care costs.
“Maintaining coverage is an effective tool for recruitment and retention," Esen said, adding that in coming years, retirement savings, compensation, flexible work and career development will also play increasingly important roles in recruiting strategies.