Shifts in the job market often lead to shifts in demand for benefit packages. While HR teams frequently pick up on important market trends, the new benefit perspective can go unnoticed for too long. This leads to a disconnect between new candidates and hiring teams, each with different ideas of compensation.
We're seeing this right now with the growth of flexible and hybrid jobs (particularly among the younger generations), where the ideal benefits are being ignored too often for more traditional packages that do little to attract the top talent. If ideas about benefits change in your industry, your model needs to change as well. To that end, here are several of the most important benefit changes for the flexible job market. Young professionals are on the watch for these perks – what are you offering?
Called personalization or hybrid benefits, this approach focuses on direct communication with new talent to set up a unique benefits package that provides what they are most interested in. It's expected that personalization will eventually take over benefit packages for most companies, and adopting personalization early on is a great way to prepare for customizing benefits employee by employee.
Typically, this leads to a hybrid package that includes bonuses and performance rewards, as well as a mix of work/life perks, discounts, and personal growth options. The key is to open up the conversation and commit to transparency so that candidates fully understand what's on the table. Of course, working with each hire to create a customized benefits package means a lot more work for HR, and a lot more flexibility than companies are used to. However, it's also one of the best ways to ensure top talent acquisition and retention, with ROI that is becoming more obvious by the day.
Younger generations are very quick to note the difference between job perks and benefits that actually put cash in their pocket – and they have a very strong preference when it comes to choosing between them. This is particularly effective when working with temp and flex jobs where traditional benefits may not be as possible or as attractive for employees less certain about their own futures. Keep in mind that money always talks, and today's flexible employees are more interested in higher wages and cash bonuses than any number of perks.
Reworking Time Off
Today's young adult employees have an interesting relationship with time off. They do not appear impressed with traditional vacation days as older generations, although they do value paid time off for their own personal growth and adventure. The solution that appears effective for many companies is a simpler PTO pool that employees can pull from when they want for any number of purposes. Accrual can be based on time worked or the type of position, depending on how adaptable the company wants to be. Specific vacation perks may also work, but the best approach is providing a certain amount of all-purpose time off and leaving the creativity to employees.
It's no surprise that remote work is such a valuable perk today. Flex and temp jobs frequently depend on remote work situations, and offering remote work opportunities is key to picking up the right talent for these situations. More traditional full-time employees are beginning to favor the versatility that comes with choosing remote days as well (especially when personal obligations make a remote work day the ideal choice).
Certification and Training
Impress employees by offering them plentiful opportunities to grow on the job and adopt new skills, not only through their position but also through supplemental training and additional certification that increase their permanent value. These perks can be more challenging to offer to temporary and part-time workers, but consider a scholarship, discount, or fund-matching programming to help even these employees find ways to improve themselves.
Community Perks are a growing subset of benefits that match the millennial interest in their community. These evolved from "local discount" perks into full-fledged programs that seek to connect employees to the location through volunteering, fun outings on town, exploring nature, and trying out new experiences.
Less Wellness, More Healthcare
While healthcare may not be as important to today's younger employees as it was to previous generations, it's still high on the list...particularly in flexible work situations where health benefits are more difficult to find.
Currently, many companies are pursuing wellness strategies that incorporate health perks into a position. Health perks can be good benefits, but this approach is starting to show its age. Traditional wellness options like in-house yoga, diet help, and stress reduction hold less appeal for young professionals who already have those benefits well-practiced in their personal lives. They are less impressed by the general concept of "wellness" but actually health, dental and vision insurance are more attractive than ever.
Are you looking for a way to acquire top talent? ICS can help: Our staffing solutions are designed for today's adaptable companies and on-the-move professionals. Save time and let us find your own skilled professionals across a variety of industries and skill positions. It's not just about saving resources – it's about creating a talent acquisition strategy that appeals to today's employees...and aligns with your own goals.