Get the Competitive Advantage
4 ways to hire and retain the best employees
Ameritas Insight
Competitive Advantage

hese days, many job seekers are looking at more than their base salary when evaluating companies. Often, they want to know about work-life balance, corporate social responsibility or job perks. As the workforce changes and organizations increase their hiring to replace outgoing workers, they’ll need to take a hard look at their competitive advantages in the marketplace.

Organizational goals often include improving employee retention, raising employee engagement, increasing participation in benefits and wellness programs or finding better recruits. More and more, businesses use employee benefits strategies to achieve these goals. This creates a competitive advantage, as potential employees are more likely to work for organizations that show they care about members of their workforce.

Employee benefits make up nearly 32 percent of an employee’s total compensation package, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.1 In the private sector, legally required benefits comprise only 7.7 percent of that total, giving organizations wide leeway on which optional benefits to offer.

How do organizations create benefits strategies that help achieve their business goals? The Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group — the research arm of Workforce magazine — developed the Using Benefits for Competitive Advantage survey in coordination with Ameritas. We asked more than 400 employers how they use benefits to create a competitive advantage.

Demographics in brief2
The Using Benefits for Competitive Advantage survey received participation from 437 respondents at a variety of industries and organization sizes.
Key findings
  • 18.4 percent of organizations view their benefits practice as strategic.
» Organizations using benefits strategically have more success creating a competitive advantage than organizations that don’t.
  • Strategic organizations outshine their counterparts in four key areas:
» Benefits communication
» Financial well-being focus
» Measurement use
» Technology implementation
Overcome Roadblocks to Success
Organizations should develop internal practices that help them overcome roadblocks to better recruitment and retention. That includes focusing on the things employees and job seekers look for in an employer.
Employee engagement
Employee engagement

According to Gallup, engagement is rising. Nearly 34 percent of U.S. workers are engaged, with those actively disengaged down to 13 percent (a new low). Gallup reports that engagement is highly related to positive business outcomes.3

Student loan debt assistance
Student loan debt assistance

At a record $1.5 trillion, student loan debt is increasing.4

Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility

This is important to many employees, particularly millennials.5

Work-life balance
Work-life balance

This is of increasing importance to both Gen X and millennials.

Workforce May/June 2019 - By the Numbers