It should go without saying that most prospective employees want a quality benefits package to paired with their job offer. But which employee benefits are the most desired, and how can your company keep pace with the bigger guys?
Justworks conducted an original study with 521 employees at US companies sized at 2-200 employees, who do not use Justworks’ services, to answer that question.
Find out below about the gaps between what employers offer and what prospective employees want — and the big opportunities that offers small- to medium-sized businesses.
1. Employee Benefits
Health benefits are usually the most expected and desired type of benefit surveyed employees cited when accepting a job offer. 88% of respondents said the quality and options of health benefits were important. However, only 41% of employers offer health insurance as part of their benefits package.
Between the Affordable Care Act and an increasingly competitive talent market, health benefits are a clear and competitive way to recruit the best talent out there. And for small businesses that are struggling to find access to affordable benefits, services like a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can help.
2. Employee Perks
Although not the most important for job seekers, 26% of surveyed employees cited work perks such as gym memberships and flexible work schedules as important when considering a job offer. As it turns out, only 15% of employers offer perks for mental and physical health in their benefits package.
The good news? There are plenty of ways to infuse health and wellness initiatives into your company, no matter the size. In fact, dozens of those ideas can be done for free!
We’ve made a simple guide on how to create a phenomenal health and wellness program, even on a budget.
3. Paid Time Off
When it comes to paid time off (PTO), prospective employees highly value the ability to take time off, whether it’s for leisure or health. In total, 88% of participants said vacation and PTO is important when searching for a job.
Despite that, only 36% of surveyed employers offer paid time off in their benefits package. The strain is understandable — many small employers struggle to offer employees PTO due to limited resources to cover employees while they’re gone.
However, finding time for paid leave ultimately pays off, both in increased employee productivity and improve morale.
4. Paid Time Off By Gender
When it comes to PTO, women especially value the option of taking time off. Of the respondents surveyed, 50% of women said PTO is important, while 26% of men said the same.
The need for women to use PTO is strongly correlated with parenting. According to the Pew Research Center, 58% of working millennial mothers reported being a working mother has made it harder to get ahead at work.
However, parenthood shouldn’t keep great places to work from recruiting the best talent for their team. Even putting paid parental leave aside, there are plenty of ways your company can create a family-friendly workplace — flexible work hours, anyone?
Learn How to Create a Company Leave Policy
5. Paid Parental Leave
Over the past few years, paid parental leave has grown more commonplace, originating from both independent business policies and state laws. For example, businesses like Netflix offer an unlimited parental leave policy, and states like New York will soon mandate 12 weeks paid family leave for most businesses.
The trend aligns with what employees are looking for as well. When deciding to accept a job offer, 66% of employees said the employers paid parental leave policy is important. In contrast, only 13% of employers offer paid parental leave in their benefits package.
Deciding how much paid parental leave to offer as a small- or medium-sized business isn’t easy. We’ve written an eBook on how to create leave policies for your company that cover paid and unpaid leave laws, different types of insurance for leave, and how to create company leave policies.
6. Benefits That Matter Most to Employees
As expected, employees would like a quality selection of benefits, but some outrank others. Here are the employee benefits that weighed most heavily when deciding to accept a job offer:
- Health benefits: 45%
- Vacation/PTO: 38%
- 401k, retirement, or pension plan: 37%
- Additional extra perks (gym, flexible work schedules, etc): 26%
- Paid parental leave: 20%
Related article: The Future Workplace: Where Flexibility Trounces Paid Time Off
If you own or run a small- or medium-sized business, it may not be possible for you to offer all desired employee benefits right away. But making long-term investments in your team will pay off in all areas, from recruitment to retention to productivity.
How Justworks Can Help
Justworks understands the challenge of finding access to quality, affordable employee benefits for small- and medium-sized businesses. We’re a PEO, or Professional Employer Organization, which means that we can group our customers’ employees together and help them enjoy enterprise-level benefits for a fraction of the cost. You can learn more about us here.