Quick Look: Companies across all industries are facing the same labor shortage, which is making it difficult to recruit. As a result, competition is at an all-time high when seeking out and securing the best candidates. Therefore, it’s necessary to hone in on how today’s employee defines job satisfaction and align company benefits and culture to meet the demands.
We all know how much 2020 took a toll on companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses. In addition to operational delays and a collective shift to remote working, many SMB leaders also had to make the difficult decision of laying off or furloughing their employees. Consequently, people were then left to collect unemployment and/or seek new opportunities.
As we enter the final quarter of 2021 and head into a new year, in-person activity has mostly resumed. Businesses have begun to regain stability and are now ready to recruit employees to fulfill open roles, an effort which has been deterred by the labor shortage.
The labor shortage is due to employees weighing their options more carefully before stepping into new roles. During the lockdown months, many sought higher education, advanced their skill set, or switched careers altogether. This shift has caused many businesses to struggle in their search for qualified candidates.
Helping clients strategize next steps to overcome this labor shortage has been an essential focus in 2021 and will continue for the next few years. Some recruiting methods may only need a few tweaks here and there, while others may require a complete overhaul. Though it’s a challenging time, it presents a wonderful opportunity as a professional employer organization (PEO) broker to recommend valuable resources and insight for your clients.
As a PEO broker, you can help your clients determine the best match when choosing a HR solution to help reshape their benefit packages and initiate important changes within their company’s culture to meet the demand of what drives employees today.
What Employees Want
The current labor shortage isn’t a lack of jobs. In fact, as of August 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor reports the monthly job growth average is 586,000. The problem stems from people being reluctant to return to work, or at least the way work used to be.
Over half of people in the workforce are likely to seek out new employment well into 2022. Although some of the hesitancy was attributed to when vaccinations weren’t available and unemployment was extended, as work environments are becoming safer and unemployment benefits expire, people want a different direction for how they achieve a work-life balance.
They are looking for roles which align with their values, and a company’s benefits are a large part of their decision-making. Companies find working with a PEO broker beneficial when navigating which HR solutions will resonate most with candidates and make it easier for recruitment.
Employee benefits and perks have never been more important. Traditional incentives such as health insurance and paid time off are the basics of what employees expect when starting a new job. Many seek out (and are holding out for) roles which offer modern-day benefits and flexibility in their day-to-day schedules.
When reviewing and creating a benefits plan, everything must align with what employees value most. In a post-pandemic world, the modern approach includes schedule flexibility, a focus on mental health, and stipends for home office necessities, to name a few.
Remote Work and Flexibility
Clocking into an office for eight hours a day is becoming a thing of the past. A study conducted by Upwork predicts by 2025 nearly a quarter of the American workforce will be working remotely, an 87% increase from what it was in 2019.
Additionally, a survey conducted by FlexJobs reported 96% of employees who were forced to work from home in 2020 would like to stay remote, at least part time. The survey also reveals 27% would be willing to take a 10-20% pay cut to work remotely and 81% would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options. Though competitive salaries are still high on a candidate’s wishlist, it seems like job flexibility isn’t far behind.
Mental Health Support
Employees want to work for a company whose culture champions mental health. Updating health insurance options to include access to mental health support, such as therapy, meditation apps, and other wellness benefits are all necessities for people today.
Whether it’s by allowing flexible schedules, use of sick days for child care needs, or covered co-pays for telehealth, at least 32% of employers plan to increase mental health benefits. By allocating resources for this type of support, it’s another incentive companies can offer candidates looking for their next role.
Home Office Stipends
Most people weren’t automatically prepared with what they needed to work from home in 2020. With remote work or hybrid setups on the rise and permanent setups here to stay, home office stipends are part of the benefits businesses are adding to the list.
These stipends allow employees to purchase office chairs, tables, headphones, and other equipment needed to successfully work from home. For companies eliminating or reducing their office space, the costs could be allocated toward these home office expenses.
How to Benefit Your Clients Best
SMB employers are feeling the burden of this labor shortage. Most are ready for a change but aren’t sure where to start or don’t have the time or resources to be fully dedicated. As a PEO broker, partnering with ExtensisHR allows you to offer clients an all-in-one HR resource which includes updating benefits to incentivize today’s workers. Job candidates want to find the right fit rather than the fastest one when searching for their next opportunity.
ExtensisHR takes on the responsibilities of recruiting and creating solutions tailored to a company’s exact needs. It may start with revamping a benefits package but also includes services, such as payroll, HR, and risk management. It also helps SMB employers stay competitive with what they offer when compared to bigger companies.
Want a trusted HR solution to offer clients who are trying to recruit and retain the best talent? Our HR experts are here to help.