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Spotlight on Benefits Used to Recruit, Retain Employees
 

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  1/17/2013
 

In January 2013 the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a series of "State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace" reports, based on surveys fielded among SHRM members in 2012. Key findings highlighted the benefits most often used to help recruit and retain employees, and organizations' efforts to communicate the value of employer-sponsored benefits.

Recruitment

According to the findings reported in State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Leveraging Benefits to Recruit Employees, organizations reported health care (80 percent of respondents) and retirement savings and planning (63 percent) were the benefits most frequently leveraged (that is, used strategically) to recruit employees, and that these benefits will increase in importance for recruiting employees in the years ahead, as indicated below.

Benefits and Recruitment
"Within the next three to five years, what benefits offerings will increase in importance in your organization's efforts to recruit all levels of employees?"

Health care

79%

Retirement savings and planning

76%

Flexible work benefits

71%

Preventive health and wellness

69%

Professional and career development benefits

61%

Family-friendly benefits

51%

Leave benefits

44%

Housing and relocation benefits

13%

Source: SHRM, State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Leveraging Benefits to Recruit Employees.

The benefits that organizations most often leveraged to recruit "highly skilled employees" were health care (75 percent) and retirement savings and planning (58 percent).

Retention

One in five (20 percent) organizations reported leveraging their benefits program to retain employees, according to State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Leveraging Benefits to Retain Employees. Similar to the recruitment findings, HR professionals reported that health care (72 percent) and retirement savings and planning (58 percent) were the benefits most frequently leveraged to retain employees, and that these benefits would become more important for retention in coming years, as indicated below.

Benefits and Retention
"Within the next three to five years, what benefits offerings will increase in importance in your organization's efforts to retain all levels of employees?"

Retirement savings and planning

70%

Health care

70%

Preventive health and wellness

65%

Professional and career development benefits

64%

Flexible working benefits

63%

Leave benefits

51%

Family-friendly benefits

50%

Housing and relocation benefits

24%

Source: SHRM, State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Leveraging Benefits to Retain Employees.

HR professionals also reported that the most frequently leveraged benefits to retain "high-performing employees" were health care (58 percent), professional and career development benefits (55 percent) and flexible working benefits (48 percent).

Communications

While roughly three-fourths of respondents thought their benefits communications efforts were effective, only about one-quarter had an employee benefits communications budget in 2011, according to State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits.

Very few organizations (4 percent) were using social media in their communications efforts, as indicated below, although 8 percent indicated they planned to start using social media within the next 12 months.

Benefits and Communications
"How does your organization determine the knowledge level of employees about the employer-sponsored benefits available to them?"

Employee surveys

24%

Interactions with HR

17%

Employee focus groups

14%

Intranet use

12%

Employee meetings

4%

"Which of the following employee benefits communications methods does your organization use?"

Enrollment materials (online or paper)

84%

Group employee benefits communications with an organizational representative

65%

One-to-one employee benefits counseling with an organizational representative

51%

Intranet

48%

Direct mail to home/residence

41%

Newsletters (online or paper)

39%

Benefit fairs

26%

Virtual education

13%

Social media

4%

Group employee benefits communications with your vendor

3%

Source: SHRM, State of Employee Benefits in the Workplace—Communicating Benefits

Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Related Article:

SHRM Surveys Gauge Health Care Costs, Wellness and Flex Benefits, SHRM Online Benefits, January 2013

Quick Links:

SHRM Online Benefits page

SHRM Online Retirement Plans Resource Page

SHRM Online Workplace Flexibility Resource Page

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