Jobs are aplenty and unemployment is at a record low in the US economy.

Great news for workers but not so good for employers – just like everything else, if there is a shortage of supply then the price will go up.  Which means many companies are finding themselves competing hard to both attract and retain quality employees.  And when a small firm is up against rivals with deeper pockets, many small business owners feel they work hard to attract and train staff only for them to be poached by the bigger company literally down the road that can simply offer a higher hourly wage.

With many industries reporting growing difficulty in both finding and keeping good people, what can entrepreneurs and small business owners do to stop the continual trickle of staff through the exit door?

The obvious answer – to fight fire with fire by raising wages – may be a good one but is simply not an option to many smaller businesses already working at the margin of profitability.  But today’s worker is a much more aware person than in years gone by. As jobs for life have disappeared and important parts of pay and conditions such as traditional pensions have all but evaporated, the headline wage figure is not as crucial as it once was.

By using the right blend of employee benefits, smaller employees can be back in the game of recruiting and retaining the staff they need – without necessarily having to take a hit to the bottom line.

Employees are increasingly looking at the details of the whole package on offer – while the pay will always be important, so people are looking at what else is on offer.

Does your firm offer a retirement plan? IRAs? Life insurance? Disability benefits?

If not, these can be easy – and cheap – additions to the employee benefit package to make your business a more attractive place to work.  There are a whole host of workplace benefits available for employers to offer to their employees, and a whole variety of ways to offer them.  Employers with bigger budgets can pay for benefits directly and gift them to their employees.  But firms that simply do not have the dollars to do this can still make an attractive package of benefits at little to no cost to the profit-and-loss account.  By offering benefits as voluntary payroll deductions, staff are empowered to buy into the menu of options as they see fit for themselves and their families.  All your HR department has to do is provide enrollment opportunities to your benefits provider and amend the worker’s payroll deductions according to their choices.

Packages can be built bespoke to a company’s individual needs, and premiums reflect the risk of the workers’ pool to the insurance company.  If your headcount is high enough, you may find an insurance company is even able to offer policies to your staff as guaranteed issue – which means your benefit offering may be the only life insurance available to staff members who have more serious health concerns.

Now that is a big deal in attracting a potential employee and turning them into a key member of your team.  And many insurance firms offering worksite benefits can even offer extensions to employees’ family members making their working for you an even stronger proposition.

Reach out today to see if adding worksite benefits to your employee package can make your firm stand out from your competitors.  Noble Davis has been helping companies design and maintain their retirement and welfare plans since 1987.  Learn more about our consulting services here or contact us today!