4 Ways to Compete in the War for Talent

Is your company suffering from a talent shortage? Companies that don’t find creative ways to search for and keep good employees don’t grow or innovate. Business leaders who can, will win the talent war and will be able to accept new business opportunities while their competitors will have to walk away.

Winning the talent war depends on many variables but here are four things you can do to attract and retain talent.

1. Provide Comparable Benefits
Companies are leveraging their benefits packages to compete for talent. Overall, benefits account for more than 30% of compensation, so not only is it important, it’s also a measurable portion of a potential employee’s decision. “Benefits” encompass medical, dental, vision, life, other ancillary benefits, retirement plans, vacations, paid time off, holidays, and more. Below are some suggestions and statistics about what your competitors might be doing to attract good talent with good benefits.

Medical Insurance
Over 93% employees say medical benefits are significant in their decision-making.

Average Annual Premium for Employee-only plan
$6,251 Employee contribution 18%
Average Annual Premium for Family plan
Employee contribution 29%

Health and Wellness Benefits
Many companies offer health and wellness benefits that range from flu shots, CPR and First Aid training, to 24-hour nurse hotline, weight loss programs, gym memberships, etc.

Life and Disability Insurance
Typical insurances offered by top employers are:

  • Life insurance
  • Long Term Disability
  • Short Term Disability

Retirement Plans
Retirement plans include 401k plans. The average employee contribution is 5% and the average employer contribution is 2.7%.

Time Off
Vacation and PTO (paid time off) programs are important for today's workers. More businesses are moving to PTO, but they are less common in smaller companies.

In 2015, the national average was nine paid holidays.

Other Benefits
Additional benefits to offer might include:

  • Personal days
  • Professional development programs
  • Tuition assistance
  • Flexible work benefits, including "casual day", remote work, flextime, and sabbaticals

To learn more about these benefits and the programs offered by most companies, watch our webinar, “What Do Other Employers Do? Competitive HR and Benefit Practices”.

2. Create Engaging Job Structures
Younger generations are not interested in "career paths". Stop planning employee’s paths and focus on providing experiences. The new worker wants to gain and demonstrate new competencies. In today’s fast-paced world, most career paths are obsolete within two to three years anyway as jobs and organization structures change.

Arrange mentorships between older and younger employees to capture and transition knowledge both up and down the generational line. Part-time work for retiring baby boomers often helps develop and grow new talent. Collaborate with the Gen X leaders to model and shape the organization for the future. They will have a big influence on how successful the millennial generation will be at leading companies over the next decade.

3. Make Work/Life Balance a Reality
Accept the fact that work confined to an office or building is a thing of the past. To attract talent, create a work environment that promotes individuality and inclusion and provides flexibility with the ability to balance work and life demands. Incorporate flextime and virtual workspace into the workplace.

4. Lead with an Inspiring and Supportive Leadership Style
Find ways to tie your firm's purpose, vision, and mission to something bigger in society. Corporate and social responsibility initiatives are paramount to millennials. Every leader in the company must feel responsible for the development, exposure, and engagement of his or her people. Talent development is not HR's job. Leaders at all levels must be available, authentic, and open to involving employees of all ages, ethnicities, and genders in the mission of the company. Small to mid-size companies are more nimble, less bureaucratic, and more accessible. They have a strategic advantage to attract, train, and retain talent for the future now.

Contact the Experts for Help
The talent wars are real, and they are here now. If your company needs help in developing a strategy to stay competitive in the talent market, we can help. We assist many small businesses with HR programs that increases their competitiveness and reduce their costs. Call us today and learn how we can help you.

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