Employers want to attract and retain top talent — and they are funding HR budgets to do it.
A new national survey of more than 4,200 employers reveals they are spending more on benefits packages because of the hot job market.
The Gallagher Benefits Strategy and Benchmarking Survey is conducted every year by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a United States-based insurance company. In this blog post we'll share the major trends revealed in the survey.
The survey ranked operational priorities for companies. Leading the way was the process of attracting and retaining employees. It was the top priority for 60 percent of those surveyed, and up 2 percentage points from the 2017 survey.
Diversification in benefits is a major trend
Controlling the costs of those benefits was not as big a priority in 2018, however. About 37 percent of the employers said they were trying to keep benefits costs low, a 6 percent decrease from 2017.
And if you’re an employee, there’s more good news. About 45 percent of employers said they were not increasing the employee share of health care benefits, which rose 5 percent for a family and 3 percent for an individual in 2017.
A major trend shaping up in the employee benefits and compensation market is the continued diversification in benefits.
Benefits that impact employee's live
Employers are no longer offering just health and dental insurance. Many have moved into other areas that also directly impact their employees’ lives like commuter benefits.
On average, people spend 26.9 minutes commuting per work day. In many metro areas, that’s about the time for a one-way commute. Commuter benefits allow employees to have a tax-free way to make the trip every work day.
With commuter benefits, employees can save up to 40 percent in transportation costs. The benefit can be applied to public transit, rideshares and qualified paid parking. The money is set aside tax-free in the employee’s paycheck, and they can save up to $265 per month.
Here’s a real-life example. If you have a married employee living in Boston who makes $75,000 per year, they can save $882 per year with commuter benefits. Your payroll tax also decreases because the employee is not taxed on that portion of their pay. Whether you have 2 employees or 100, it makes sense to see if commuter benefits is an excellent benefit to offer your employees.
While commuter benefits is a great option for employees, it’s not the only one. The Gallagher Benefits Strategy and Benchmarking Survey revealed more employers are providing tuition assistance, life insurance, access to employee assistance programs, and providing telemedicine in 2018 as compared to 2017.
The challenges for HR professionals
Attracting and retaining top talent remains a challenge for human resources and small businesses as we get ready for 2019.
One way to make yourself stand out in the marketplace is by offering a diverse selection of benefits. You have people who commute, so it probably makes sense to make it as cheap as possible for them (and give yourself a healthy tax break).