How to Build a Competitive Benefits Package

The aim of a benefits package in a company is to attract and retain top talent. In the current market, these two things have never been more important. In a recent survey by Thomson Online, 80% of Employers said the top objective of their benefits package was to attract and retain staff.

In my opinion, a company’s benefits package will never be the sole reason someone will come to or stay with your company, but it is definitely a factor and can be influential in turning someone’s head.

1. Get to know your audience and market

When building a benefits package a company must ensure they:

  • Understand what current and potential employees actually want
  • Know what is being offered in their industry
  • Know what is common in the geographical market they are operating
  • Are flexible in their offerings

In a recent survey carried out by Stelfox we saw work/life balance coming out as the most important factor for candidates when looking for new jobs, this means that companies offering benefits that give flexibility in relation to working hours and location can make themselves stand out from the crowd.



2. Prioritise the Core benefits employees would prefer

The strongest offerings we see from our clients give choices depending based on an individual’s need. Often we see Core inclusions such as health care, pension and bonuses being offered to all staff.

These are now nearly seen as the minimum level to be included and are a must in any benefits package, without these your company may struggle to attract and retain top talent. The Thompson Survey cited earlier stated the nearly 1 in 4 employees do not feel valued as a result of their benefits package.



3. Include Tier 2 and Tier 3 offers

When using a benefits package to retain and attract the best talent, companies must now look beyond these core offerings with supplemental Tier 2 and Tier 3 benefits.

Tier 2 offerings come after your core offerings (health pension bonus) and should focus in on work/life balance, these can really make companies stand out and can be key and attracting and retaining staff. These include things like Flexitime, Working from Home, Amount of Annual Leave and the ability to accrue more annual leave. The amount of Annual Leave is something that we often see as a sticking point for companies coming from America where the average PTO for someone with 1 year employment at a company is 10 days. In Ireland, the statutory minimum leave is 20 days and in the tech industry, 25 days is pretty much the starting point with a lot of companies offering unlimited PTO.

Highly relevant to the Irish market at the moment is the Flexitime/Remote working benefit outlined above. With longer commutes and, more and more households having two parents working, having flexibility around hours to start and finish is vital.

Finally, Tier 3 Benefits focus more on Perks and add-ons. These are not necessarily what attracts people to a company, but can be the Cherry on Top for people and help greatly with retention as employees feel highly valued. These can include things like Gym Membership, Technology Items, Gift Vouchers, Charity Days, Parking Spaces and Additional Annual Leave days. In this section, we have seen clients offering flexible benefits where employees can choose from different options that best suit their lifestyle.

By understanding markets and what staff want, companies who design a competitive benefits package can generate tangible results in terms of retention and productivity. With competition for talent being so fierce at the moment companies must do what they can to gain an advantage. A strong benefits package is a proven cost-effective way to do this.



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