With both the U.S and Seattle unemployment rates hovering around 3.5%, benefits are becoming a more significant bargaining chip when recruiting talent into organizations. Benefits can become a useful tool during the recruiting process when there are fixed wage offers due to internal budgeting or salary compression. Additionally, some benefits may not be static and can be negotiated depending on the situation. Some examples of these are time off, work from home options, and training budgets.

It is always worth discussing the other “perks” that may be available to offset a candidate’s budget and contribute to their non-salary wages. Transportation costs are rising, and the time needed for commuting is increasing in our populated areas. Therefore, helping with parking costs, public transportation costs, or even offering the ability to work from home may be the tipping point to get a candidate to accept an offer. In the most recent Compensation Works 2017/2018 Trends Survey, 40% of company respondents added perks or benefits such as wellness programs, expanded leave programs, and flexible work schedules, which shows that there is an evolution of benefit plan designs for the current employment market.

The Trends Survey also showed 37.5% of respondents made additions or upgrades to employee healthcare benefit offerings which are up 20.6% from the previous survey. This change highlights that employers recognize how valuable benefit offerings are to recruit and retain their employee base. One benefit offering may be enough to entice a reticent candidate from their current position or to get them to take a chance on entering the job market. With the cost of benefits increasing each year and the controversial options surrounding the open market, it can be essential for recruiters to discuss with candidates the cost difference between the candidate’s current job and the new opportunity.

Your benefits package can help you remain competitive in the market with other local employers within an individual industry and company size. Something as seemingly simple as a more generous time off program may be enough for another company to lure a star employee away or to fill that “hot job” that has been impossible to fill in the past. Overall, benefits packages can be easily overlooked but are critical as a leveraging tool when recruiting for positions.

How can we help?

Compensation Works can provide a full benefits analysis and evaluation to help you stay competitive in todays market.