"We see an increase in demand for childcare resources and backup care resources among the 20 to 45-year-old demographic," Duchesne says. "And among the 46-year-old-and-up demographic, they want resources to help them care for an aging family member. What this translates to in general is a need to help them resolve conflict in their home life so they're more productive and successful in their work life," he says. Duchesne adds that while more than 50 percent of Care.com survey respondents reported having these kinds of issues, most were reluctant to discuss them at work for fear of not seeming engaged or committed enough to their job.
"Offering these benefits, even if they're not specifically asked for, can help employees successfully navigate the tricky work-life balance conundrum and make them not just more productive, but more engaged with your company and more loyal and likely to stay," he says.
That means a comprehensive, customized benefits package can be a great tool for businesses to attract and retain top talent, says Duchesne.
Using Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent
"If you're not offering benefits in line with your employees' needs and their work-life balance challenges, you're missing an opportunity," he says. "You can attract and retain great talent much more easily if they feel you care about them enough to provide customized solutions that address their needs," he says.
"Are benefits important when trying to attract talent? Yes," says Matt Ripaldi, Senior Vice President at Modis. "But benefits are just as important when trying to retain that talent. If you offer a great salary, that's fantastic, and you might hook some folks for the short-term. But if the benefits and work-life balance don't align with that person's long-term needs, they'll go somewhere with a lower salary but better benefits," Ripaldi says.
In the current IT talent war, companies have to adapt to candidates' and employees' individual needs and be flexible when aligning benefits with their business goals, he says.
"It's important that benefits be talked about at the front-end of the process, rather than just sticking it at the back end of a recruiting and hiring process," Ripaldi says. "It's not just a pay-rate conversation. Companies want to use benefits offerings to start conversations and share more information about what they offer and how that can benefit employees," he says.
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