This article digs into why employee benefits are important for attracting and retaining talent — more specifically related to employer branding.

But first, here’s a quick definition of employer branding.

What is employer branding?

Employer branding (EB) is your reputation with your current employees (and the general public), especially job seekers.

Your employer branding affects how your company is perceived. Data shows companies with a reputation for being caring, with a solid culture of diversity and inclusion:

  • are more likely to be seen as a great place to work (by job seekers)
  • keep current employees from looking for another place to work

A company’s reputation matters more than ever. In fact, 86% of workers would not apply for, or continue to work for, a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public.

(source: Everything You Need to Know About Employer Branding by Caroline Forsey)

Note: Check out our blog for more tips and tools to build your employer brand.

 

Why employee benefits are important for your employer brand

The types of benefits you offer affect your employer branding (think caring and inclusive). How you’re perceived by new talent and employee retention make benefits hugely important.

Your benefits package is a marketable tool to help build a solid EB. When considering how your employee benefits affect employer branding remember these 3 main points of focus:

  • Reputation — Your employee benefits should boost your reputation as a company that cares about its employees and extends this care to a diverse range of people.
  • Job Security — Your employee benefits should help employees to feel secure in their jobs.
  • Culture — Your employee benefits should be inclusive in nature so employees (and candidates) recognize your focus on culture.
why employee benefits are important 3 key points
(source: Employer Branding: your weapon to attract talent! by Talent Cloud Media)

Below are some examples of benefits to boost your employer branding.

 

Benefits to boost your reputation

Your reputation is led by what people are saying about you. Today, it’s easy for people to make quick judgements about you from social media or a Google search. So, you want your employees, customers, and candidates to say positive things.

There are lots of ways to achieve this, but when it comes to employee benefits it’s a good idea to focus on:

 

Being Transparent

Be open about your benefits in your JDs and career pages.

Each benefit you include in a job ad increases the apply rate by 1% to 5%. The benefits with the most positive impact on apply rate are: Regular Incremental Bonus (+155.1%); Pet Insurance (+37%); Health Insurance (+29.8%); Stock Options/Employee Stock Purchase Plan (+27.5%); and 401(k) (+20.5%).

(source: Job Ad Content: How Benefits Impact Candidate Attraction by Appcast)

And, if you add a new benefit post it to your social media and ask employee advocates to do the same.

 

Covering your bases

Different people have different ideas of what “good benefits” are. To show that you care about a diverse range of people consider benefits that fall into a number of categories

  • health and wellness (gym memberships, health insurance)
  • financial (reimbursements for travel and tuition, bonuses)
  • retirement (401K matching)
  • paid time off (for vacation or volunteering)
  • flex-time or flex-work (hybrid office/home options)

 

Staying up to date

Be willing to add to your benefits as current events bring new challenges for your employees. But, be cautious of removing benefits.

Here’s an example of how staying up to date (and being willing to add to your benefits) boosts your EB reputation:

The Supreme Court ruling on June 24th on abortion access has stirred strong emotions. With this in mind, many companies have opted to include abortion access benefits, mostly by covering travel expenses for abortion. You can read more about companies that have added abortion access benefits here.

And, another good example is maintaining remote work or hybrid work options post-COVID 19:

“32% of working professionals would consider relocating with a paycut, if given the opportunity to WFH as much as they would like.”

(source: The Permanent Relocation: Paycut Edition by Team Blind)

 

Benefits to boost job security

Your EB is affected by how secure your employees feel in their job – and how much they complain about any insecurity they feel!

In the past, and now more than ever (due to the increased cost of living) job security is high on employee and potential candidates’ list of importance. Consider these benefits to boost job security:

  • Healthcare plans
  • Parental leave or return to work pay
  • Financial assistance for things like travel or caring for aging parents
  • Wellness benefits to help with stress and mental health

Ernst and Young (EY) offer a comprehensive wellness benefits package to help employees stay emotionally healthy, and provide support through challenging life experiences (like divorce):

“EY’s “Better You” program is designed to support the physical, financial, social, and emotional needs of its employees by offering them free resources to help them “find balance so that they can fully engage at the office and in life.” To address employees’ mental health, EY’s program offers up to 25 counseling sessions for employees and their family members, mindfulness training, and mediation sessions. Plus, EY also covers the cost of online support tools to help employees better manage stress, and training for employees to recognize if someone in their network is struggling.”

(source: 15 Companies That Prioritize the Mental Health of Their Employees by RIPPLEMATCH TEAM)

 

Benefits to showcase your culture

Companies with a defined culture help employees feel included and part of a community.

When you have a clear work culture it boosts the confidence of potential talent. You want to make them feel like they’ll fit in. This also applies to making current employees want to stay as part of the team.

So how do you make it clear from a employer branding perspective?

Employee benefits support your work culture when they relate to your mission, morals, and ethics. These benefits often take the form of optional extras like team-building exercises and community opportunities. But they might also fall under more standard benefits.

Here’s an example based on financial benefits from Patagonia:

Patagonia has long stood for enjoying nature and protecting the environment. Its EB is a natural extension of that, promising an “unusual blend of work, play, family and environmentalism.”

They deliver on that promise through:

  • paid environmental internships
  • time off for civil disobedience training
  • reimbursements for commuting to work in a way other than driving
  • flex-time policy

 

Why I wrote this:

Ongig is on a mission to support HR professionals in creating unbiased, inclusive and healthy work environments for employees and great employer branding is an important element of this. Connect with us friends@ongig.com

 

Thanks to my sources:

  1. How to Strengthen Your Reputation as an Employer by Sarah Jensen Clayton
  2. 15 Companies That Prioritize the Mental Health of Their Employees by RIPPLEMATCH TEAM

by in Employer Branding

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