Employee Benefits Technology: Becoming an Employer of Choice
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By Kazim Ladimeji
Leveraging Benefits Software to Be an Employer of Choice
As the talent wars rage, organizations are looking for every conceivable avenue to stay competitive—essentially doing whatever it takes to become an Employer of Choice. This moniker is more than just a snazzy title, being an Employer of Choice gives an organization the upper hand in attracting, motivating, and retaining talent. In fact, research from CareerBuilder highlights that Employers of Choice leverage advantages such as "more effective recruiting, lower recruiting costs, improved quality of candidates, more engaged employees and lower turnover". And, according to university studies from Michigan State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison (who looked at Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For), Employers of Choice have better financial results than companies in the broader market.
While there aren't any surprises to be found about the positive aspects of being an Employer of Choice, what does become more clear through these studies is that being able to attract and retain talent is a differentiating capability in today's fiercely contested global workplace. Indeed, the ferocity of the working environment is palpable; even further illustrated by recent Universum research in which 71% of young professionals are interested in changing employers, 72% have applied for a job in the last six months, and 26% are looking to move jobs within the next six months. Yet these statistics only shed light on the dire need for organizations to embrace retention efforts. It is just as hard attracting employees as well according to the Financial Times which recently released survey results that highlights 50+% of U.S. employers reported difficulty filling jobs in 2011.
Against this backdrop it is vital that organizations have the strongest employer brand possible if they are to build and maintain the necessary talent pipeline to meet business goals. In essence, this means that organizations must devise a brand strategy that can effectively leverage both attraction and retention of employees. One such way to do this, as revealed by the aforementioned Universum study, is to deploy an effective employee benefits strategy—an endeavor that can positively impact remuneration and increase employer attractiveness (the top 2 drivers for attraction and retention). Of course, if delivered through benefits automation software, the impact of your benefit strategy can be dramatically enhanced.
Flexible Benefits Technology Works for Multiple Generations
In today's work place, we are for the first time seeing 4 generations working alongside each other, which means that one size does not fit all when it comes to employee benefits. In fact, organizations must consider the needs and preferences of different workforce segments when designing their total reward strategies in order to maximize the appeal of their reward offering. As such, it's quite surprising to find then that 80% of firms do not have a formal multi-generational total reward strategy, according to research from World At Work.
Enter Flexible Benefits technology, with functionality that is the perfect antidote for this multi-generational reward challenge. Essentially, flexible benefits administration software allows employees to adjust their pay and benefits packages to suit their own generational preferences. For instance, this benefits software functionality can enable generation Y employees (who have been shown to be less interested in wellness initiatives) to sacrifice health insurance in favor of more mentoring opportunities or cash alternatives. Baby Boomers on the other hand (who have been shown to have a strong preference for financial advice and planning services) can use the organization's flexible benefits software to sacrifice their specific (and less valued) alternative benefits in favor of support for more valued areas.
Online Total Reward Statements
Employee benefits technology also allows staff to access on demand a real-time and up-to-date itemized statement showing the individual elements of their benefits package and their monetary value. These total reward statements can help employees realize the true value of your reward offering and make your business appear more attractive to them. This assertion is supported by research and consulting from LIMRA, which shows that 62% of employees "valued employee benefits as most important when considering two job offers with equal salaries". Within these same rankings, benefits also came in above job stability and paid leave.
Employee Self-Service (ESS)
On-line Total Reward Statements and Flexible Benefits can realistically only be delivered with Employee Self Service (ESS). ESS is a core feature in best of breed employee benefits technology, which enables employees to access and manage their HR information through a web browser, (typically). So Employee Self Service can indirectly support your employer brand by being the key enabler of Online Total Reward Statements and Flexible Benefits – two features proven to enhance the employer brand.
Final Remarks on Employee Benefits Technology
Businesses that rank highly as places to work have been found to perform better financially than businesses from the broader market-place. This enhanced performance is achieved by the capacity to be more effective in attracting and retaining top talent, a known determinant of success. Studies show that remuneration, namely pay and benefits, is considered to be one of the key determinants of employer attractiveness. The most effective way to deploy employee benefits is through employee benefits technology with full utilization of Employee Self Service, On-line Total Reward Statements and Flexible Benefits alternatives.
Research from CareerBuilder highlights that Employers of Choice leverage advantages such as "more effective recruiting, lower recruiting costs, improved quality of candidates, more engaged employees, and lower turnover".