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3 Tips to Help Your Employer Groups in a Tight Labor Market

Feb 25, 2019

What’s one of the top challenges facing employers today? Unemployment rates nearing a record low.

Your groups need to keep top talent from competitors and attract new team members. This is one of the main reasons they look to you, as an employee benefits consultant. A strong benefits program, competitive pay, vacation, and flex time might be the minimum to get a candidate interested. But, how can the employer really stand out?

I’m sharing 3 tips to help your groups gain an advantage over companies competing for the same talent. 

1. Suggest a speedy process 

How many of you have applied for a job where it took 3 months to get hired? You went through 5 interviews with 15 different people on 5 different days – while trying to juggle your current job duties. A long hiring process can give candidates pause about working for an organization. A company that acts swiftly will stand out.

A tight labor market not only means candidates are typically interviewing with multiple companies, it also means there’s a greater likelihood current employees are considering a move, so it’s a good idea to have strong and frequent internal HR processes, too. Being timely and proactive with frequent feedback loops, formal reviews and rewards are key to retaining great employees.

2. Be ready with a fresh mix of benefits 

Whether an employer has found a great new candidate or wants to reward their existing team, it’s important to wow them with a new mix of “perks” they’re not seeing everywhere. Yes, the health plan will always matter. But, for the most part, it’s also expected and not likely to be the tipping point. 

A new mix of services delivered in a tech-savvy way shows the company is keeping up with the times and in touch with employee needs. Get creative and put together a mix of perks like…

  • flexible hours or remote work days
  • free snacks, on-site car washes or casual dress
  • identity theft protection or a legal savings plan
  • a dedicated health pro to help employees get the most of their medical benefits
  • Pet care assistance
  • A trained coach to help employees and their families who are caregivers for adult loved ones
  • no-fee telehealth visits for common needs, and next-gen telehealth services for behavioral health, dermatology, physical therapy and more 

It’s no longer about offering a ton of voluntary offerings that the employees can “choose” from, but a curated offering provided by the employer as part of the overall benefits package. It’s also not about providing a benefit to every employee that some just don’t need or won’t use – employers can ask employees which perks are of interest. This strategy delivers a lot of stand-out value with little incremental expense.

3. Offer something for everyone

Who will receive this fresh mix of benefits? As I meet with employers and consultants every day, this is an area where I see a huge opportunity

Traditionally, employees who aren’t on the medical plan aren’t offered other benefits. Maybe they declined coverage because they have it elsewhere, or maybe they’re not eligible due to part-time or contract status – maybe they just can’t afford their portion. Yet, these can be very important employees.

Providing these individuals with a suite of benefits apart from the medical plan is a big point of distinction that doesn’t need to break the budget. For example, we’ve assembled a freshSAVINGS pack with 9 best-in-class savings networks including Rx, Dental, Vision, Chiropractic and more that an employer can provide to any employee for $2/PEPM. It’s a great entry point to put some core benefits into an underserved population.  

The competition for talent is heating up and looks to remain that way going forward. As a consultant, you have the chance to help your employers stand out against the competition – not only to compete for top talent, but to keep their valued employees.  

Now it’s your turn! How do you advise groups to stay competitive and within budget? Comment below or email us at

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Tanya Boyd
Tanya Boyd
President of Tanya Boyd & Associates

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