It's not just salary that motivates candidates to seek out and accept job offers; workplace benefits are equally important. Knowing what benefits job searchers want can help you better manage your resources and focus your efforts where they'll have the most impact. Here are eight essential benefits that younger workers are looking for, according to the American Institute of CPAs.
1. Health insurance
Medical bills are the primary source of personal bankruptcy filings in the country. It's no wonder, then, that younger workers put so much emphasis on having great insurance. Aim to offer a plan with comprehensive coverage, manageable deductibles, and reasonable copays so your employees are able to take care of their health, all the while avoiding catastrophic bills.
2. Paid time off
American companies are notoriously stingy with paid time off, so by bucking that trend, you'll attract quality job candidates and perhaps do a better job of retaining existing employees. But don't just be generous with vacation time; employees need sick days and personal days, too.
3. Student loan forgiveness
With student debt in this country topping $1.5 trillion, many younger workers struggle to keep up with their loan payments. As such, a large number look to public service jobs that might qualify them for student loan forgiveness. You can't change the nature of your business to allow for this option for your employees, but you can offer student-loan repayment assistance. Easing that burden is apt to earn you an extended dose of loyalty, not to mention entice new hires.
4. Remote work
These days, workers across the board are starting to demand more flexibility from their employers, and that includes the option to do their jobs from home or a location outside a business' primary office. Even if your company has historically maintained a heavy in-office culture, it pays to offer some leeway on remote work. Doing so might open your candidate pool and give you access to talent you'd otherwise pass up.
5. 401(k) matches
Many workers today worry whether they're saving enough for retirement, and younger employees are no exception. By offering a 401(k) match, you'll help your employees reach their long-term savings goals, all while alleviating some stress.
6. Tuition reimbursement
Sometimes, it takes additional schooling for workers to advance their careers. By offering tuition reimbursement, you'll show your employees that you're willing to invest in their success. You can offer to subsidize the cost of everything from graduate school to classes needed to obtain professional licenses or certifications.
Though employee pensions were once common, it's harder to find them nowadays in a nonunion setting. The appeal of the pension lies in the financial security it delivers, so if you're not willing to offer one, teach your workers how to build their own. You can accomplish this by administering a solid 401(k) plan, contributing generously to it on employees' behalf, and offering financial wellness classes and seminars so your workers can set themselves up for a secure future.
8. Paid parental leave
It's an unfortunate fact that most U.S. companies don't offer paid parental leave. Giving employees paid time off to adjust to parenthood is a good way to show your support and build trusted relationships with workers you want to retain for the long haul. It's also a great means of attracting younger candidates, many of whom are no doubt in the process of growing their families.
Younger workers want to enjoy a host of benefits that help them grow financially and professionally, all the while making their lives easier. It pays to examine your benefits package and see how well it stacks up. A few key changes could help attract solid candidates and prevent your most-valued players from jumping ship.