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Organizations need to get creative in order to attract and retain employees

August 16, 2017

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Companies can no longer compete for talent with traditional offerings and expect new hires to stay long term. In a 2016 iCIMS study, 400 U.S. full-time employees were surveyed to discover the factors that lead to job satisfaction as well as motivations for leaving an organization.  

Employee flight risk is higher than ever.  According to the study, 83% of full-time employees would consider leaving their current company. Employees no longer stay with one company until retirement as they did in the past.  They are always looking for better career opportunities.  In fact, 77% of employees are considering an industry change altogether.

Why are employees leaving?
A growing threat to employers is the gig economy.  More and more full-time employees are giving up the structure and stability of a full-time job for a more flexible gig.  The trend of untraditional work arrangements is growing, according to research from prominent labor economists. The new research shows that the amount of Americans transitioning from working full-time positions has jumped from 10.1% 10 years ago to 15.8% more recently. Nearly 40% of those seeking alternative work possess bachelor’s degrees.  So the notion that the gig economy is for the uneducated is no longer valid.

So why are so many employees on the lookout for something bigger and better?  42% of employees state that their growth potential in their current job is lacking.  They also state that they no longer believe in the company’s mission, schedules are too rigid, and they don’t get along with coworkers.  But the largest factor appears to be connected to benefits.  69% of employees in the survey said that they are not satisfied with their benefit package.

Why employees stay.
Attractive and innovative benefits packages that suit employee lifestyles are a large factor in both recruitment and retention.  It’s no longer a one size fits all solution.  Employees throughout any company are in different stages of their life.  Younger workers might value maternity and paternity leave while older workers might place a higher value on long-term care or elder care.  Offering benefits that relate to an employee’s stage of life is a great way to appeal to fresh talent. 

66% of employees said that if they were starting a family in the next year, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers would be most important to them. Other benefits that employees listed as important include tuition reimbursement for children, pet insurance, mental health days, on-site massages, or the ability to bring a pet to work. 

Younger workers tend to focus less on salary when evaluating jobs.  94% of millennials now report that nontraditional benefits will be what seals the deal when choosing an employer.  Culture is so important to millennials that 66% have delayed a job search because they did not want to leave their fellow employees – only 38% of Boomers answered the same way. Each generation is motivated by something different, and companies must alter their offerings to the employee base they are aiming to attract.  Some companies now offer an ala carte style plan so that employees can choose the benefits that are most important to them.
It’s important for employers to keep a constant eye on what their employees are seeking and what new talent is looking for in an organization.  And remember, an employee’s values may shift over time.  Different generations have different goals and needs, and employers must keep this in mind.  While salaries must remain competitive, it’s no longer the sole deciding factor for employees.

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