New Standards for Employee Benefits: Why the basics are no longer enough

How to win top candidates EVERY TIME

Health, vision, dental, 401k matching, free lunch, a wellness program and PTO? Sounds like a comprehensive benefits package that most employees would be more than happy to accept.

Unfortunately, these types of benefit packages are no longer cutting it when it comes to swaying top talent. With companies such as Google, AirBnB, and PwC paving the way with innovative benefits, it is time to rethink how benefit packages are a major key to landing your dream employee.

Depending on their career level, candidates place value on different types of benefits. In a study by Monster, they state that people early in their career place the greatest focus on health care while those more senior such as managers and executives focused on performance bonuses. How do you update your benefit package to attract the best candidates? Here are the most interesting and unique benefits to consider including:


Student Loan Forgiveness

With over $1 Trillion dollars in student loan debt, and the biggest burden being on millennials, it’s no wonder that student loan forgiveness is becoming one of the hottest benefits for companies. PwC, Chegg, and CommonBond are all companies offering this benefit. Companies are offering their employees third party loan refinancing, or contributing $100/month, as payable income, with a yearly or lifetime cap on the dollar amount. Right now, only 3% of companies offer student loan repayment. This is your chance to get ahead of the competition by adapting this new benefit.


Physical and Mental Health

The holistic health of the work force is becoming increasingly important, especially with many employees feeling the weight of long work weeks and a heavy workload. It is common to walk into an office in the Bay Area and see all employees wearing a fitness tracker like FitBit or Garmin. This cost efficient offer (fitness trackers usually cost less than $250) makes employees feel like you care about their health and are encouraging them to stay active. In addition to fitness trackers; gym memberships, weekly on-site massages, meditation classes, and company-wide fitness challenges are all starting to become the norm for many competitive companies.


Another benefit that is becoming increasingly important is family leave. If an employee’s spouse, parent or child is sick they are no longer getting penalized for taking the time off. Companies such as Netflix have adopted a 12-month parental leave benefit for new parents. This creates a better work life balance for employees and ensures them not having to make hard choices like choosing work over their family. Joining the growing population of comprehensive parental leave benefits, The City of San Francisco will be implementing an increased, fully paid 6 week parental leave for all new parents, as well as job safety guarantee upon return from parental leave. These reforms will go into effect January 2017 through Jan of 2018. Also on the list are Ebay and Spotify, offering a fully paid 6 months parental leave package for employees.


Flexible Working Conditions

It is no longer about letting an employee work from home one day a week. It is about giving your employees the ability and freedom to step away from their physical desk. Weather it is working at the local coffee shop for a few hours, or going into a shared workspace two days a week, it is important for workers to feel inspired and that they have the space to get their creative juices flowing.


As a first step in allowing for flexible working conditions, encourage your teams to take walking meetings instead of meeting in a boardroom. This helps the employees feel “more energized and alert” and has the ability to improve their creativity and thinking according to an article from Inc.


With employee needs shifting, the benefit package companies offer needs to shift as well. Expanding benefits is a great way to set your company apart and attract top talent that is looking for more than conventional benefits. Loan repayments, mental and physical health, and flexible working conditions are a great start to updating any list of company benefits.