How great employee benefits can drive up talent acquisition

Jacklyn Tan, Regional Director of Employee Benefits, Asia, Howden, shares how a well-strategised benefits package can boost employment rate and retention.
By: | November 14, 2023

Organisations nowadays often have much to consider when it comes to the success of their organisation, and two of the biggest ones happen to revolve around acquisition of talent, and retaining the numbers to groom them for long-term success. It is something that all organisations think about, and often take the most time and resources to strategise over, especially after looking into what drives employees to apply to certain organisations.

“In today’s competitive labour market, talent acquisition has evolved significantly,” explained Jacklyn Tan, Regional Director, Employee Benefits, Asia, Howden. Speaking to HRM Asia, Tan elaborated on the growing expansion on remote work options and flexible schedules for employees, thanks to them actively looking for work that provide better work-life balance. Other factors that employees look for in a potential workplace includes a diverse and inclusive workforce; as well as important and purpose-driven work that aligns with the unique ethics and morals of employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z. With that, organisations now are going through the tried and tested ways of recruitment: creating good employee benefits.

Employee Benefits: A good package makes growth rise

Employee benefits are becoming crucial for many organisations to curate for several reasons: besides attracting top talent, it also retains and engages existing employees. These are often non-wage benefits, such as health insurance, wellness programmes, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities, and contribute to overall job satisfaction for many an employee. “Offering a comprehensive benefits package signals to prospective employees that the company cares about their well-being and long-term growth,” said Tan. “Moreover, with rising healthcare costs, robust employee benefits can help employees manage their health expenses, reducing financial stress and improving overall job satisfaction.”

A well-rounded benefits package, Tan continued, attracts top talent, and helps retain existing employees, as it makes them feel valued, supported, and more likely to stay with their organisations, contributing to a rising business growth. The benefits themselves also seek to help employees with their physical and mental well-being, leading them to be healthy, productive employees who are better equipped to work and cope with the challenges that occur at work. It even encourages employees to seek opportunities to better themselves, thanks to benefits such as tuition reimbursement and access to training programmes that promote continuous learning and skill development, all crucial for sustainable, long-term growth of any organisation.

But how then can organisations tell which benefit programmes work and what does not? Tan called it a matter of crucial monitoring, using metrics and indicators such as regular feedback and satisfaction surveys; monitoring the employee turnover rate; the utilisation rates of the benefits from employees; and looking into the quality of candidates who sign up due to the benefits package, giving indication of how attractive the benefits may be.

However, Tan cautioned that for organisations to truly investigate and create an effective revamp of their employee benefits, much work needs to go into understanding current workforce trends and aligning employee benefits packages in a meaningful and cost-effective way. Thus, a multi-faceted solution must occur.

“You’ll need to conduct a comprehensive benefits audit, by reviewing your existing benefits package to identify gaps and areas that need improvement,” Tan advised.  “This can also include soliciting employee feedback to understand the specific needs of your workforce.” There is also much need to keep ahead on industry and regional trends in benefits to ensure organisations stay competitive and as such it is important to benchmark benefits against similar organisations.

Tailoring these benefits to the unique needs of employees is also important when it comes to designing and curating a good benefits package, said Tan. “Consider offering flexible benefits and work arrangements, wellness programmes, mental health support, and financial wellness initiatives,” she said. Making sure employees understand the full range of benefits available to them is also vital, with effective communication to maximise the value of the benefits available as well as create effective employee experience. This includes incorporating technological solutions for the sake of convenience and ease. Howden’s MediHub, available in Singapore, has been effective to streamline benefit administration and provide employees with easy access and management of their benefits.

READ MORE: How organisations can provide the best (bene)fit for their employees

Finally, be prepared to adjust as needed, said Tan. “Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your revamped benefits package using metrics like employee satisfaction, turnover rates, and utilisation, and make adjustments accordingly,” she advised, acknowledging its challenges for any organisation to handle in-house.  “That’s why engaging a broker like Howden can be very effective, as we are experts that can do all of these things for HR teams.”