As the economy slowly improves, and employees begin to gain the upper hand in terms of job opportunities, employers are again trying to lure the best talent with top-notch benefits. If a job prospect is being courted by two companies, then as long as the salaries are equal it often comes down to the "perks" of working for one company over the other.
That being said, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), those very same benefits that attracted a new hire are seldom used to retain high-performing employees. Furthermore, those benefits may have changed and several major topics have emerged as being more important. For example, flexible work arrangements and a wellness-oriented approached to employee health care dominate the wants of younger employees.
Alex Alonso, SHRM's vice president of research, said that many HR professionals recognize the importance of flexible work schedules to the millennial generation. He further noted that flexible work schedules were a more valuable factor in recruiting top talent than in prior years.
The reason wellness-oriented health care has risen to prominence is that a greater number of employees are becoming more health conscious. In addition, employers are pushing more of the costs of health care onto the employees themselves so it becomes more cost-effective to be sick less often.
Not surprisingly, as companies try to one-up each other for the best and brightest employees, there will always be something to tempt an employee to "jump ship" and work for another company with more and/or better benefits.
Human Resource departments will need to find ways to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their company's benefits and weigh the pros and cons of adding or improving them in order to retain superior workers. The cost of such a gain or loss in the quality of a company's workforce could be much more than the cost of the benefit.