Why employee benefits matter for SMEs in times of unprecedented talent mobility

By October 31, 2019July 28th, 2020employee benefits

Small and medium businesses are struggling to recruit and retain staff as they square up to bigger players with deeper pockets to invest in employee benefits and higher salaries.    

So to counter this competitive threat, SMEs are fast working out how to respond to the shifting sands of employee expectations. Tailored to the wants and needs of a more demanding cohort of workers that place a premium on a strong benefits structure. And we’re not just talking about Millennials. When you think that around 60% of people say that benefits and perks are one of their top considerations when deciding on a job. According to Glassdoor, SMEs are responding by offering compelling, bespoke benefits packages. Plans that make employees feel valued, and their businesses more attractive places to work. This is to win out in the battle to find and keep the best talent. 

Research tells us that SMEs are really swimming against the recruitment tide. Take Moorepay’s The Engaged Employer report for example. The study found that 77% of smaller businesses are struggling to recruit suitable, qualified staff and 64% are finding it difficult to keep them.  Research by MetLife adds further depth to this challenging trend. MetLife studied UK businesses that employ between 50 to 300 staff and found that almost half of SMEs say that hiring and keeping talent is a major issue at 49%.

How SMEs changing gears on employee benefits

MetLife discovered that 53% of SMEs plan to increase their benefits offering over the next two years. 46% will increase what they currently offer and 14% plan to introduce employee benefits for the first time. 

However, not all SMEs are on board just yet. Let’s get back to the Moorepay research on this. The study found that a significant number of SMEs (19%) were reluctant to embrace the most popular benefits – financial rewards such as bonus pay and pension schemes, flexible working and initiatives that encourage a healthier work / life balance.

Recruiting the future

As the new decade approaches, employers of all shapes and sizes face unprecedented talent mobility. Workers are increasingly looking beyond pay packets and SMEs. They are recognising that employee benefits and perks are a powerful tactic. This is to show candidates that you offer a great place to work. As well as caring about their health and wellbeing.

Employee benefits are becoming a major recruitment battleground for all businesses.  Research by PageGroup found that 78% of Britons would more likely to apply for a job if it mentioned the benefits on offer. However, just 47% of adverts include benefits information.  If you haven’t got a plan in place then you could fall at the first recruitment hurdle. 

If you’re looking to introduce employee benefits, or update your plan, let’s talk to see how we can help.    

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