Following the Great Resignation and the ongoing pressure to bridge skills gaps, attracting and retaining talent is a key focus for many employers. It takes weeks – if not months – to recruit and hire a qualified candidate, let alone train them. If companies can’t retain those employees, hiring becomes a drain on resources.

Employers aren’t always in the power position anymore. If you want to attract the best candidates, you have to make the position as desirable as possible. All of your competitors are working hard for the same talent, but there is one way to stand out – employee benefits.

Salary is important, but it’s not enough. Top talent is increasingly weighing benefits as part of the job offer, with some even leaving good positions in search of better benefits.

Value-added benefits like health, dental, and vision insurance, PTO, and life insurance are crucial, though you should consider other ways to make your benefits package attractive for top candidates in the recruitment process.

benefits package
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Why Benefits Matter in Recruitment and Retention

Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows them you are invested in their health and their future. Top talent is increasingly considering benefits as part of the compensation package – and your competitors are likely stepping up.

There are advantages for your company as well. Employee benefits keep employees happy, healthy, satisfied, and productive, which in turn improves your company’s bottom line.

For example, healthy employees reduce the healthcare costs for your organization, experience fewer sick days, take less time off to go to doctor’s appointments, and bring their best and most productive selves into the workplaces.

Differentiate Your Benefits Package

About 90% of businesses offer health insurance at minimum. In fact, most employees expect health insurance, and if you have more than 50 employees, you’re required to provide health insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Beyond that, you can attract top talent by offering unique benefits like:

Unlimited PTO

Unlimited PTO may seem like a recipe for disaster, but the thing is, it works. It’s not only attractive for employees, but they don’t take advantage.

Employees with unlimited PTO take an average of 13 days off each year. When employees have capped PTO, they take off about 15 days. Why? Because they feel forced to use their PTO or lose it.

Flexible Work Hours

Employees want flexibility. According to research, about 76% of employees would be more loyal to their workplace if they could work flexible hours. Around 78% said they feel more productive with a flexible schedule, and 77% said that flexibility is a key factor in their job search.

Remote Work

During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work went from a rare perk to a necessity. As result, employees want remote work to stay. About 90% of employees say that being able to work remotely increases their morale.

Wellness Programs

About 93% of employees say that wellness programs are a considerable factor while looking for jobs. Wellness programs offer discounts, cash rewards, low-cost gym memberships, and other perks to support employee wellbeing and boost productivity while also being cost-effective for the company.

Tuition Reimbursement

Career development is a key contributor to job satisfaction. About 82% of employees who have tuition reimbursement believe it makes them better employees. When companies invest in employees, employees are more loyal.

Emphasize the Benefits and Their Advantages

While the hiring process should emphasize standard benefits like health, life, and disability insurance and retirement, use this opportunity to highlight the unique perks you offer that your competitors don’t.

Talk about unique benefits with concrete examples of how they improve employee satisfaction. These unique benefits can draw in desirable candidates and show  them that you go above and beyond for your employees.

Focus on the Employees’ Future

It’s not enough to attract talent – you have to keep it. Focusing on the benefits that support your employees’ future is a great way to boost retention rates, even before you onboard new employees.

Highlight future-driven benefits like:


Retirement is a huge benefit for employees, just after healthcare. About 81% of employees say that retirement benefits are a consideration in the job search.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

More employers are offering maternity and paternity leave because employees are seeking it. Maternity leave is common, but paternity leave is still a differentiator for exceptional employers. If you want to attract young talent looking to start a family, this is a must.


Discussing severance packages in the same breath as hiring may seem odd, but it’s a comfort for employees if there are possible layoffs or cutbacks in the future. While nearly all employers offer severance packages, only about 55% of them put it in writing.

Educate Employees on Benefits

Gen Z employees who are just entering the workplace aren’t educated on benefits. Along with offering them, the next step you can take with employees is helping them understand how to make the best decisions for their individual circumstances.

For example, a young, single employee has different priorities for healthcare than an older employee with a spouse and children. Different generations also have different concerns with protecting their wealth and planning for the future.

Benefits often come up during open enrollment communication periods, but education about benefits shouldn’t stop there. It’s important to discuss benefits and help employees throughout the year, especially as major life changes come around. For example, having a baby is a major life change that will have an effect on benefits.

You should have an education platform for ongoing training that employees can access for information about benefits. This will help them prepare for open enrollment periods or planned life changes, so they can choose the best benefits for their needs.

Attract Top Talent with Attractive Benefits

Salary is essential to top talent, but employee benefits can be the key difference between competitive job offers. For some, benefits are weighed more than a fair salary. If you want to attract and retain the best candidates, design and emphasize a unique benefits package that supports your employees, now and in the future.