5 Employee Benefits That Can Sweeten any Salary Deal

November 19th, 2014 | Articles, Hiring Resources | No Comments »

Employee Benefits

In a job offer, money isn’t all that matters. Salary alone doesn’t guarantee an employee will remain anchored to one port. For candidates, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be happy in a year’s time. That dollar amount is only one part of the package. As both sides get ready to meet at the negotiation table, it’s important to keep employee benefits on the agenda.

Even if you have some or all of these benefits, make sure you are being open about them during the hiring process to attract the right candidates.

Competitive Medical Benefits – The average American spends $6,815 on medical bills annually. That’s no modest sum. The Kaiser Family Foundation report that, on average, employer-sponsored health insurance for single person coverage is $6,025.

According to a Monster survey, 32% of job seekers (the highest percentage in the study) value medical coverage above all other employee benefits. However, only 55% of employers offer any sort of healthcare benefits to employees, leaving a considerable number of employers lagging behind the competition. Having strong medical benefits can help to attract employees who would otherwise go elsewhere.

Flexible Work Options –Life often lacks the plasticity we need from it, so a flexible work schedule has a major appeal. When a family or personal obligation arises, who doesn’t want an employer who will work with them?

A BLS report found that 56% of American workers have the ability to adjust their work schedule or location to fit their daily needs. Though it’s a small majority margin, this trend is progressively becoming the norm. However, there is a significant lag with telecommuting options.

A Wall Street Journal study found that only 13 million U.S. workers (9.4%) were able to telecommute once per week. Working from home can be cathartic for employees, allowing them to trade the snarl and frustration of traffic for a timely start while their thoughts and energy are still clear.

Transportation Reimbursement – The national average for one-way commutes is 25.5 minutes, squeaking in at just under an hour with the round trip. That’s not to mention the money sunk into our overall commute depending on vehicle fuel efficiency, tolls, and routine maintenance. Even those going by public transportation feel the burn with transportation passes.

This incentive isn’t as widely offered, but it can be a huge draw for employees. All that time and money spent on the commute can wear down even the most resilient person. If an employee feels his or her company is helping to shoulder some of the burden, they’ll be less likely to move elsewhere in a short time.

Tuition Reimbursement – This benefit offers advantages to both parties. Obviously, the employee is going to gain valuable knowledge, but employers benefit just as much. All of those skills gained through additional training quickly translate back to the company.

The advantage of tuition reimbursement as an employee benefit is that it builds loyalty. Employees with desire challenges and growth are given what they want through continued learning. A CAEL survey found that 70% of employers with tuition assistance programs experience high retention rates. Additionally, those businesses tend to also see a marked increase in productivity.

Additional Paid Time Off – Paid time is the second highest ranking employee benefit on the Monster survey. On average, American employees earn 16 days of paid time off when you combine holidays and vacation days. That amount lags behind most other rich nations of the world. Really, it’s hurting employers just as much as employees.

It’s a perk that can do wonders on an employee’s psyche. All the stresses of a given position can melt away as they take the time for themselves. Detaching from the responsibilities and concerns of work can provide greater clarity to the problems at hand.

Finding the Right Balance

Job negotiations should always be give and take. Amicable agreements are rarely when one side refuses compromise. Consider the other side’s point of view, express yours, and see where the two meet. Then, those employee benefits will help to ensure a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

by James Walsh

[Photo Credit]