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6 Ways to Attract Talent with Employee Health Benefits

by: | September 8, 2017

Building a well-run, thriving organization takes strategic planning—which includes hiring the right people. To be competitive, an organization needs top talent in their ranks. Now more than ever, companies vying for the best talent must adequately showcase their stellar compensation packages—employee health benefits included—to prospective hires.

If you don’t, you miss a significant opportunity to differentiate your company, losing out on great people. Here’s how to attract talent by showcasing employee health benefit plans that make you stand out from the crowd.

1. Share Employee Health Benefits in the Job Description

Candidates—especially the most talented and sought after ones—understand the value they add to companies, so they aren’t likely to apply for positions that don’t seem to match that value. Use your job description to share what you have to offer right off the bat. Not only can you spark their interest, but you’ll also keep up with current candidate expectations. According to a Careerbuilder survey, early two-thirds of candidates expect to see information on your benefits package in the job description.

So while it’s essential to accurately describe the role and your company, it’s equally important to discuss benefits. If your job description is missing this vital information, it may get passed over by quality candidates. After all, they often have several options.

Keep in mind that if you don’t share anything—or even share the bare minimum—you run the risk of candidates assuming that means you offer poor benefits. So be sure to list out some of the top benefits you provide. Perks like onsite wellness clinics or reimbursements for health-related expenses will show you value your employees’ wellness, making you an attractive employer and one for talented candidates to watch.

2. Explain Health Benefits During Interviews

When employment was scarce, interviews often felt like the time for candidates to sell themselves, but today’s world is mostly candidate-driven. Smart hiring managers realize they need to sell the organization as well.

Recruiting top talent requires employers to woo their desired candidates, highlighting why their company is an ideal fit. During the job interview, spell out the company culture, salary and benefits. Consider sharing real-life examples of how employees use their benefits. Be generous with the details, letting candidates know what they can look forward to if they end up working there. You can even consider letting them go out to lunch with the people who’d make up their team should they accept a role at your company.

3. Provide Relevant Employee Benefits

Benefits plans help companies hire, retain and engage their employees. But there are many benefits that may not be useful to your employees. For instance, allowing dogs at work may be a wonderful perk for some of your employees, but not for those with allergies.

When looking into the types of benefits to provide, take a look into services that add value to your employees. Benefits like Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) or Health Spending Accounts (HSAs) and Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) allow employees the flexibility and incentive to become more active in their health care journey. Onsite clinics and cash back on health centered purchases are great methods to engage employees with your benefits program. After all, who doesn’t love being rewarded for being healthy? This also creates a positive intrinsic drive for employees to continue investing in their health. Plus, employees who feel appreciated perform better and are more likely to stay in the organization.

4. Bring on Quality Vendors

So you have an employee health benefits plan in place. Great! Now you have to ask the key question: Are employees using it? Too often employers are saddled with programs that overspend on healthcare cost due to the fact that employees are not empowered to utilize the right type of care. For instance, if employees take a proactive approach to their health care and make better use of preventative options, it could help them—and your company—save on emergency room expenses or costs associated with chronic illnesses. In fact, in the U.S. it’s estimated that approximately $18 billion could be saved annually if patients without urgent medical programs took advantage of primary health care rather than visiting the ER.

Designing a health benefits plan shouldn’t be simply seen as a task to check off your list. The reality is that many companies are ill equipped to create their own. If this feels like yours, engage with quality vendors that can help you reduce the cost of unused benefits.

When looking for vendors to partner with, do your homework. Partner with a vendor that not can not only build a comprehensive employee health benefits platform but also believes that it should be consumer-directed and personalized for the end user. You should also ensure that they can provide training on how to deploy, communicate and maintain your program. A quality provider will work alongside you to ensure the program is firing on all cylinders. The more you understand your benefits program, the easier it is to implement and sustain it.

Next, evaluate how the benefits they provide will engage your employees. Do they offer specialized plans tailored to your work environment’s needs? Finally, the best vendors provide an easy-to-use platform, designed to help your employees both access and utilize their benefits. If it is not digital – reconsider. The best benefits platforms are intuitive, user-friendly, always innovating and will be easy for employees to adopt into their daily lives.

5. Make Health Benefits Part of Your Culture

Too many companies share information about benefits only during on-boarding and enrolment season. But we shouldn’t leave it there.

Benefits should be part of the ecosystem—part of your company’s culture. Employees spend a significant amount of their lives at work, often seeing coworkers more than their own families. So culture matters, and leaders should set the tone. If your office culture is bland and monotonous, disengagement and boredom are sure to occur and this will be reflected in your employees’ company reviews.

A bland culture can leave employees feeling like cogs in a wheel rather than an integral part of the organization. As leaders, take the time to add meaningful incentives that will stimulate your culture. Consider adding exercise opportunities to your workdays, like mid-morning yoga, or provide healthy lunches. Using benefits like these not only improves morale, but also impacts productivity and retention, making your organization a great place to work.

6. Make Benefits Easy to Access and Use

Remember that your employees are people—when they’re not in the office, they’re consumers. And consumers these days are used to easy-to-use interfaces. Approach your benefits portal—or platform—as if your employees were your best clients.

In the digital age, people want instant access to their benefits plan. Keep them engaged and excited about their benefits by adopting a modern digital benefits platform. Employers that make meaningful strides toward a culture of health and that provide their employees with intuitive ways to engage with their benefits program empower their employees and be able to more easily attract talent.

Finding rock star candidates in today’s landscape is competitive, so every edge counts. Employee health benefits are a major differentiator when it comes to landing top talent. Companies that put their incentives and health benefits at the forefront of the hiring process will have the advantage over those that don’t.

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