The backbone of a successful business is a group of great employees. Recruiters and business owners need to create a healthy work environment and a comprehensive benefits package to attract and keep the best talent.
"When it comes to attracting talent, perks are great, but job seekers still care most about those bread-and-butter benefits like healthcare," said Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite. "According to Jobvite's Recruiter Nation Survey, more than half of recruiters say that medical and dental coverage and a 401(k) plan were the most effective benefits for attracting talent last year." [See related article: Hiring in the Digital Age: 3 Modern Recruitment Trends to Adopt]
Here are the benefits recruiters rank as the most effective and how you can use them to build your team.
1. Medical and dental
Employees need medical and dental insurance, and 66 percent of recruiters say it's the most important perk. Health insurance is a basic benefit that employees expect. If you don't offer it, you'll have a hard time finding good talent, and it may land you in legal trouble.
"While buzzworthy perks like free food and pet-friendly offices look cool on your careers page, they aren't ultimately the selling points that will get talent through the door," Bitte said.
To stand out and make your company more attractive, you need to provide affordable health insurance. [Related: How to Build a Great Employee Benefits Package]
2. 401(k) plan
Like medical and dental insurance, 401(k) plans are an important benefit. Roger Lee, CEO of Human Interest, said when you offer 401(k) plans with employer-match funds, it shows you're a stable company that's ready for growth. According to the survey, 55 percent of recruiters believe 401(k) plans are important.
"A 401(k) for an entire company can cost the same or even less than a weekly team lunch and shows you value your employees for the long term, even into their retirement," Lee said. "High-caliber job candidates are looking for thoughtful, long-term benefits that are financially effective."
3. Work from home
Letting your employees work from home and offering a flexible work schedule makes their lives easier. Having a flexible schedule or working from home allows employees to go to doctor appointments, pick up kids from schools, etc, said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.
"When a flexible schedule is provided, employees are able to come in at the hours that suit their needs best," she said. "Some may arrive earlier while others come in a bit later."
Letting your employees work from home has other benefits, such as saving time and money on commuting, promoting more creativity, and encouraging a great work-life balance.
"To let people work from home means a company values the result, not face time," said Vivian Chen, co-founder and CEO of Rise. "Innovative companies empower employees to get work done in environments that are most conducive to productivity and creativity."
4. Casual dress
The days of business professional dress codes are quickly dwindling. Thirty-six percent of recruiters believe a casual dress code is an important and effective benefit. [Related: Is Your Office Dress Code Reasonable?]
"Casual work attire can make people feel more at ease, giving people permission to experiment and think outside the box," Chen told Business News Daily. "Casual work attire can also break down barriers and allow people to bond more on a personal level, breaking down hierarchy."
"That freedom to express themselves can make workers feel more relaxed, creative, and productive," Bitte added. "And according to our annual survey of job seekers, candidates' expectations for a casual dress code has grown year over year, with more than one-third of job seekers now expecting employers will offer it."
5. Continuing education reimbursement
Young employees know the cost of continuing their education, and many pay a lot toward their student loan debt every month. Borrowers between the ages of 20 and 30 pay an average of $351 per month, according to Student Loan Hero.
Offering a stipend for student loan assistance or continuing education would help your employees with bills, making their lives more stable. Thirty-one percent of recruiters say a continuing education reimbursement is effective.
6. Signing bonus
Benefits such as health insurance and 401(k) plans are important but expected. While offering a signing bonus isn't a necessity, employees appreciate it. Twenty-three percent of recruiters believe this is an effective benefit.