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Are you having trouble attracting good employees to your small business? Many Canadian employers are experiencing the same issue. The job market has changed dramatically from where it was ten years ago, having done a 180—moving from an employer’s market to, well, an employee’s. For the first time in years there are more positions available than there are qualified candidates to fill them.

In this newly competitive market, employers need to find ways to entice talent to join their companies, and that includes smaller businesses.

With the right benefits package, your small business can compete for the best talent. Employee benefits help you attract and retain employees, and with top talent, you can grow your business.

Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

Many small businesses don’t offer benefits plans, and the smaller the business is, the less likely it is to offer benefits. This can make it hard for them to attract good employees. Among businesses with 20 to 49 employees, only 53% offer a benefits package. Among businesses with 50 to 99 employees, 72% offer benefits. If you’re not offering any benefits, you’re at a disadvantage.

Increase Total Compensation

Salary isn’t the only compensation employees receive. Total compensation refers to all the types of compensation you pay your employees, including benefits offerings.

By offering employee benefits, you can increase the value of your total compensation and pay employees more without the expense of raising salaries. Higher total compensation makes your company more attractive to top employees.

Top employees are in demand, and they have options when they decide to job hunt. They may get multiple job offers, when considering each position, they’ll evaluate what each company offers them as total compensation for their labour. If a job seeker receives job offers from companies that don’t offer benefits, and an offer from a company that has a good benefits plan, the candidate will choose the company that offers benefits, assuming salary is roughly equal.

Make Your Employees Feel Valued

When you hire top talent, you don’t want to lose them to your competitors. Plus, turnover costs money since you need to start the hiring process all over again. By offering a benefits plan at your small business, you can reduce the risk of losing your best employees.

A benefits plan is a great retention tool because it makes employees feel valued. Benefits increase your employees’ total compensation, so they’ll feel like they’re being paid well for their work. On the other hand, employees who don’t receive any benefits may feel like they’re being underpaid and underappreciated, which can make them want to find new employers.

Benefits also provide a sense of security for your employees and their families. By offering benefits, you show your employees you want them to be looked after.

It’s important to note, benefits don’t just mean health insurance. Companies that offer flexible work schedules, opportunity to work remotely, and even entertainment and wellness perks appeal to employees.

And don’t forget to tailor your benefit offerings. Generational divides mean recognizing that new, younger hires will have different needs than older, more established workers. Offering benefits that allow employees some control over their health and finance can go a long way.

How to Get Started

Offering a benefits plan has clear advantages for your small business, but you may be worried that getting started will be complicated. If your business doesn’t have a human resources department yet, it’s a good idea to partner with a benefits specialist that includes a fully realized HR Hub. An HR Hub includes access to a team of professionals—legal, health and wellness, and yes, benefit experts, who can help you design and build the best offering for your company and employees.

Along with access to experts, an HR Hub provides HRIS technology that can help you manage your new benefits plan. This platform reduces the amount of paperwork required, which can save you a lot of time as your business grows and you start adding more staff to your benefits plan. 

 

Margaret Reid

Margaret Reid

As the senior vice-president of Apri Insurance Services Inc., Margaret is a benefits consultant and manager of technical support. She has almost 40 years of experience in employee benefits as well as processing health and dental claims, benefits administration, and client service and groups sales. Margaret worked at Crown Life, a major insurance carrier, for 20 years, then worked at CG&B as the manager of their group department. She moved to B.Comm Financial Insurance Solutions in 2007, which merged with several other benefit consulting companies in 2011 to create Apri Insurance Services Inc. Margaret has unintentionally followed in her father’s footsteps. He was a group sales rep with Crown Life when she was a child and helped her get her first job in group insurance, which led to her current career path.