Financial Poise
Offering Employee Benefits

4 Vital Items Your Employee Benefits Package Needs to Remain Competitive

Build a Standard Employee Benefits Package That Keeps Candidates Interested

Drawing top talent is a goal every employer should have. But in competitive job markets where there are more businesses vying for the best of the best, it’s not always easy. So, how can you ensure that you have a compelling offer to make to coveted job candidates?

One of the most influential factors that candidates consider when looking for a job is benefits. While a competitive salary is a must, the benefits you offer has the most sway at the end of the day. If you haven’t reviewed your benefits package recently, you should—and there’s no better time than the present.

To help you remain competitive, here are the top four benefits to include in your benefits package moving forward:

1. 401(k) Plan

Saving for retirement is a top priority for employees. After all, they’re working hard for decades, so they can have a stable financial future. Offering a 401(k) plan is a way you can help them accomplish that goal. Not only that, but it’s one of the first things prospective job seekers look for in an employee benefits package, so if you don’t offer it, you’re already putting yourself behind in the competition.

Nowadays, the vast majority of companies offer 401(k) plans. However, many small companies that are starting out feel like they don’t have the resources to do so. Even if you can’t offer 401(k) matching, it is still valuable to provide a 401(k) savings package where employees can easily start building their retirement fund—especially given the current circumstances.

Small Business Unemployment

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, it left millions of workers out of job—significantly reducing or eliminating their monthly income and forcing them to prematurely dig into their savings. With 20% of small business employees and millions of other workers losing their jobs this year, you can be sure that they’re going to be looking for ways to make up these losses and rebuild their savings.

Start by offering at least a basic 401(k) plan, but once you are in a position to do so financially, offering 401(k) matching is a great incentive for employee retention, in addition to other more advanced benefits, like employee stock options (ESOPs).

2. Health Insurance

Healthcare is a major cost that individuals must take on if their employers don’t provide it, which is why it is one of the top considerations for candidates. A solid selection of healthcare plans should be a main aspect of your benefits package. If possible, you should have several options available (at least one HMO and one PPO). Additionally, you should ensure that the cost to employees is as low as possible. If you can offer a healthcare option that requires no employee contribution per month, even better.

When shopping for healthcare plans, keep in mind that you want them to provide value to your employees and ensure that their needs are met. While offering dental savings plans that they can enroll in is a great additional bonus (like those provided by 1Dental), legitimate healthcare coverage is essential and will play a key role in their decision to deny or accept the offer.

In addition to basic healthcare, consider adding dental and vision plans. These are typically low cost anyways, but are seen as a necessity to most workers.

3. Paid Time Off (PTO)

Work life balance is increasingly important with the workforce growing younger and younger. This younger workforce is passionate about their health, ability to travel, and maintaining a good work-life balance that allows them to get more out of life. As an employer, it’s important to recognize this need and offer a reasonable amount of PTO.

Average PTO

While some companies offer unlimited time off, there are other happy mediums where you can meet employees in the middle. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average PTO in the U.S. is 10 days. When deciding how much PTO to offer, the general rule of thumb is to at least meet this average.

Another aspect of this benefit is rewarding employee loyalty by increasing the number of PTO hours accrued each year. Increasing PTO by one or two days for every year an employee is with the company is generally the standard nowadays.

Keep in mind that employees not only need time off for things that bring them joy and allow them to come back refreshed, but to care for themselves and rest while they’re sick. After all, you don’t want to have a virus go around the office that has half your workforce OOO for a week.

4. Life Insurance

Many workers have other people they are responsible for whether it be a spouse, children, or even sometimes their parents. As such, a priority for them is ensuring that their family members will be taken care of financially, if something should happen to them.

One way you can (and should) meet this need is by offering a life insurance policy as part of your standard benefits package. This is just one way to demonstrate that you’re invested in their well-being and have their best interest in mind.

In addition to basic life insurance, you can give your employees the option to invest in a higher tiered life insurance plan that might cost them a little money out of pocket each month, but provides them with better peace of mind.

Strengthen Your Benefits Package

When reevaluating your benefits package, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a tool you can use to help curate the best possible team at your company. Not only that, but with a strong benefits package, job candidates will be more inclined to join your team and stick with you. Happy employees are loyal and hardworking employees, so it is in your best interest to provide what they want and need to feel valued in the workplace. If you already offer these four benefits, good on you, but you may also want to consider what other perks you can offer to further set your company aside from the competition and secure top talent for years to come.


[Editor’s Note: To learn more about this and related topics, you may want to attend the following webinars: ESOPs 101, Protecting Your Employee Assets: The Life Cycle of the Employment Relationship and Recruiting and Hiring, Including Restrictive Covenants.]

©All Rights Reserved. March, 2021.  DailyDACTM, LLC d/b/a/ Financial PoiseTM

About Jacob Dayan

Jacob Dayan graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He began his career as a financial analyst at Bear Stearns’ industry leading Financial Analytics and Structured Transactions group. In 2010, he co-founded Community Tax LLC, a tax company dedicated to helping customers nationwide with tax resolution,…

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