There are some employee benefits that a modern day job simply has to offer, including health & dental, a 401k, and some form of paid time off. Even entry-level retail positions are beginning to offer each of these benefits, perhaps in an attempt to distract from an otherwise unimpressive paycheck.
When an employer publishes a job posting nowadays, they’re competing with hundreds of other similar positions, especially when it can be done remotely. That’s why we’re seeing many other types of benefits emerge, not all of which fall in the typical insurance/compensation format. HR departments are getting creative to win prospective talent over and boost employee retention among their current staff.
Let’s take a look at some of these new types of benefits:
Gen-Zers and younger millennials are entering the workforce as better monitors of their own mental health than previous generations, which is why many of them are specifically seeking mental health benefits in the same vein as dental and vision.
About half of recruiters surveyed by Jobvite say that incoming candidates are looking for this perk more frequently since 2020, which is evidence that the pandemic really kicked this idea into high demand.
While insurance for therapists and psychiatrists are typically the focus of mental health benefits, companies are coming up with extra dimensions – some benefits packages include free yoga classes, and PwC is offering free access to an in-house wellness coach. Show that you care about your team and help beat burnout while you’re doing it.
Student Loan Repayment
The absurd size of American college tuition and the resulting student debt young professionals have to take on has been a hot topic for a couple decades, and it’s clearly not fixing itself. Entry level candidates are often stuck trying to pay back their student loans with their new salaries rather than beginning to save money. So, help them pay it back with a student loan repayment program!
Here’s the thing: ultimately, as far as budgets are concerned, this really isn’t too different from simply raising your salaries a bit. Paying 65k with student loan repayment might as well be paying 70k. What it DOES do is attract young talent, which certain fields need to do to get a jump on hiring ahead of competitors.
If you’re a tech startup in San Francisco looking for programmers, then offering a student loan repayment plan is a great way to get eyes on your job postings. If you’re hiring for leadership roles in a manufacturing company, though, then it’s probably not worth considering.
Benefits for Parents
Maternal leave is another staple of most organizations’ packages, but what about paternal leave? Or emergency day care days?
It’s very rare for a family to be able to raise a child on one income nowadays, so both parents are likely working full-time jobs. This carries with it a lot of financial burdens, as well as the need for flexibility when it comes to missing work. Over 65% of recruiters say requests for accommodations for parents are going up, revealing that it’s becoming more common for parents to choose positions with their children’s needs in mind.
Other types of parental benefits include simple childcare stipends and, to match the subject above this one, assistance in savings for children to go to college in the future. If you make your workplace flexible for new parents, they’ll be flexible for you.
Now for a benefit that’s never found in a remote position: company vehicles. There’s almost nothing more exciting for a new hire than the gift of a new car, but not a lot of employment scenarios call for such a perk.
Here are some that do:
- A district manager of a wide swath of branches that often requires travel between them
- A construction position that involves changing locations and the fetching of supplies
- A social worker who drives to different clients across counties
- A new hire for a leadership position within your company who was clearly the best candidate for the job… even though they live over an hour away
So, a new car is a case-by-case benefit, but it’s a huge bonus for those that need it.
That’s right, pet-ernity leave. Not everyone has kids, but many that do face similar stresses trying to take care of a new pet that they’re away from for most of the day. That’s why some companies are embracing a mini-PTO vacation for those who have new pets.
If you’ve ever had a new, active dog, you’d probably shudder at the thought of leaving them alone in your home all day during that first week you were training them. That’s why pet-ernity leave allows for that 3-5 days, alleviating the stress that folks would be feeling while at work worrying about what in the world is happening back at the house.
This also serves as a bone thrown (no pun intended) to childless employees who aren’t given the opportunity to take a long parental leave. While parents will tell you that those months they take off are no vacation, childless folks still relish any opportunity to focus on something other than work.
For a full breakdown of childless employees vs those who get parental leave, check out our article here!