Three quarters of businesses offer staff benefits to improve employee retention and attract new recruits. In a recent survey conducted by Quantum Advisory, it was found that the main recruitment challenges facing businesses are resource deficits in terms of experienced staff, high salary expectations and high agency recruitment costs. Out of those surveyed, 75% of the companies cited improving employee retention rates as their main reason for offering certain benefits. Attracting new recruits and ‘doing the right thing’ were also popular reasons.
Senior Benefits Consultant for Quantum Advisory, Richard Beddall, said: “Many organisations tend to underestimate the costs associated with recruitment. Tailoring a benefits strategy will help to create a workforce of highly skilled individuals, which is something that all companies strive to achieve. No matter whether you are replacing an employee or filling a new role, engagement is a key element in ensuring each employee feels valued by the business.”
According to the survey, the top two benefits offered by companies are pensions, additional to statutory, and employee assistance, including counselling and stress management, with nearly 50% of respondents offering each. This was closely followed by cycle to work schemes being offered by 43.5% of respondents. Judging which benefit was the most effective, resoundingly, pensions additional to statutory came out on top with 51.5%, followed by flexible benefits and a staff canteen both on 22.9%.
Richard continued: “Being able to provide a varied and individual benefit package is an important talent attraction and retention tool for any employer. Flexible benefits allow an employer to provide their employees with the ability to vary their pay and create a benefits package that suits their personal requirements.”
In terms of communicating benefits to employees, the survey found that HR departments are the most widely used method with 44% of respondents using this channel. Richard said: “How we communicate benefits to our employees remains one of the challenges to face our community, yet surprisingly we allocate the lowest budget spend to this vital area. Traditional communication channels such as HR benefit communication, offer letters, staff meetings and the intranet scored highly, however, our workforce has changed; employees are more demanding, and are often engaged by technology, and hence we have seen an increase in use of benefit portals.”
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