In the last decade, the US unemployment rate has declined steadily, from 9.9 percent in December 2009 to 3.9 in December 2018.
American companies are feeling the impact. As talent has become increasingly scarce, organizations continue to look for creative ways to attract and land prospective employees.
As HR pros, we know that one way to sweeten the pot is the benefits package.
Studies show that benefits are a significant factor for those considering a new gig, with the traditional offerings of health insurance, flexible work hours, generous vacation and work-from-home options topping the list.
But enhancing and adding new benefits isn’t enough. You must also promote your benefits offerings to those you want to attract and ultimately hire.
That’s why forward-thinking organizations have been extending their benefits communications strategies to include prospective employees.
Looking for ideas to leverage? Here are three best-practice techniques we’ve recently helped clients deliver.
- Investing in a benefits brand. Branding your benefits program is a great way to enhance recognition and engagement for your existing employee base. However, it may be an even more important tool when you’re marketing your organization as a potential employer.
Your benefits brand serves as a powerful identifier of your culture, and it shows that you take your benefits seriously. If you didn’t feel you had a strong enough justification to invest in a benefits brand before, consider that having a strong, memorable brand to apply to materials for prospects gives you even more bang for the same branding buck.
- Updating prospect-facing benefits materials. The standard benefits overview is no longer an afterthought, as recruiters increasingly need easy-to-release, professionally created promotional pieces for cultivating prospects. For some organizations, simply applying the benefits brand to existing materials (see #1 above) will work just fine.
Others are taking the effort a step further by leveraging outside communications experts to review, rewrite and redesign benefits information that is designed specifically for prospective employees. The good news is that this is generally not a huge undertaking as your annual enrollment and new hire materials can often provide a solid foundation to start from.
- Putting it out there. Historically, benefits information has been something of a trade secret, as companies don’t necessarily want competitors to know what they offer. This is a valid concern, but one that, these days, needs to be weighed against the potential impact to your prospect pipeline when other organizations make their benefits information public. More potential employees are doing their homework and researching employers, and they increasingly expect information to be available and transparent.
To give prospects exactly what they’re looking for, we’ve helped clients extend their existing benefits website to include a special section for job seekers. This portion of the site is public, so it doesn’t require any authentication, and it can include anything from benefits overviews to culture videos to a link to current job opportunities. Some organizations even offer a separate, but still public, section for pre-hires to help manage their expectations about the onboarding experience and give them access to forms and other information they will need before Day One.
Your benefits brand serves as a powerful identifier of your culture, and it shows that you take your benefits seriously. If you didn’t feel you had a strong enough justification to invest in a benefits brand before, consider that having a strong, memorable brand to apply to materials for both employees and prospects gives you even more bang for the same branding buck.
If you want to learn about more communication strategies for the modern workforce, check out our infographic below.