Employee Benefits Are Key to Recruiting and Retention

Employee benefits are proving to be vitally important to talent recruiting and employee retention efforts.  Growing businesses not only want to attract new talent.  Employers also need to retain top talent to remain competitive.  One solution?  Offering a robust employee benefits package.

According to the latest Principal Business Owner Insights survey of 1,000 small and mid-sized businesses (those with less than 500 employees), 43% of businesses classify themselves as “growing.” As such, their primary focus is on recruiting talent, so small and mid-sized business owners are prioritizing offering competitive employee benefits packages to entice the best and brightest to join their organizations.  According to Principal, “almost 80% of growing businesses say their benefits package improves the ability to recruit and retain employees.  And 74% say it improves productivity.”

Principal asked business owners to rank their employee benefits priorities and share whether they had a plan to make those priorities come to fruition.  Here are the responses.

Business owners said protecting their business was their top priority; just over half (52%) have a plan. Commercial insurance is critical when it comes to safeguarding a small to mid-sized business against human error, cyber threats, liability, lawsuits, and more.

Health & wellness solutions came in at No. 2 on the list of top employee benefits priorities for business owners, and 77% have a plan for it. The health & wellness offerings on business owners’ radar includes comprehensive health insurance, health savings accounts (HSAs), employee assistance programs (EAPs), and emotional and mental wellness programs.

Income protection placed in the No. 3 slot; it has been a top 4 priority in the Principal survey since 2010. Despite this, less than half (43%) have a plan. Among the business owners that do, 45% own individual disability income insurance.

Business succession planning was No. 4 on business owners’ priority list; 61% have a plan, with the most popular solution being giving the business to family members.

Non-medical and voluntary benefits rounded out the list at No. 5, with 83% of owners saying they have a plan. The five most popular options include dental (59%), maternity leave (57%), paid family and medical leave (56%), vision (55%), and accident insurance (53%). More than half of business owners (55%) would like to reward their employees with additional benefits, Principal found.

If you believe, like 70% of small and mid-sized business owners, that offering employee benefits improves retention, recruiting, and productivity, you aren’t alone.  In today’s competitive market, having a robust employee benefits package, one that also includes a comprehensive retirement plan, is critical to attracting and keeping top talent.


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