Would You Consider Offering These 6 Non-Traditional Benefits?

Joe Weinlick
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Job candidates in 2017 are more selective than ever when it comes to choosing their next employer, which has created a new sense of competition for companies. According to Monster, at least one in five job candidates declines an offer. To attract the strongest talent, companies are offering nontraditional benefits as part of their hiring incentives in addition to standard benefits like retirement, health insurance and vacation time.

1. Employer-Sponsored Insurance Policies

Most employers offer standard health care coverage as an employer-sponsored benefit, but many companies are also offering home and auto coverage. Most employees pay for car and home insurance anyway, so offering these kinds of policies is a great way to attract candidates. "Companies that provide auto and home insurance through payroll deduction are eligible for group rate premiums, helping families save money," says Peter Marcia, CEO of YouDecide, a voluntary benefits outsourcing firm.

2. Continuing Education

One nontraditional benefit that is effective at attracting millennial workers is education assistance. The employee pays for his own tuition for college courses, graduate programs or additional training classes, and the employer reimburses those expenses, in part or in full, upon completion of the program. The benefits are twofold: the employee is likelier to stick around longer, and the employer enjoys a sharper, highly trained worker. Tuition reimbursement is also tax-deductible, making it a more affordable nontraditional benefit.

3. Legal Services

Offering legal services as a group plan to your employees is another nontraditional benefit that can attract a talented workforce. Typically deducted through payroll, group legal plans offer employees access to a network of attorneys for a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, debt issues, family law and elder care.

4. Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a unique and thoughtful nontraditional benefit to consider adding to your incentive package. Many pet owners face difficult decisions when their pets get sick or injured, and pet insurance can help. Some companies offer pet insurance plans that cover a wide array of situations, such as emergency room coverage, dental diseases and cancer.

5. Student Loan Assistance

Student loan debt is a major hot-button issue for many millennial workers who are stuck paying thousands of dollars well after college is over. Offering assistance with loan repayment is a definite way to attract educated job candidates. Companies like Gradifi help employers assist with loan repayments to the tune of $100 to $400 per month for five years. Another option is to help employees refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate with the help of a third-party loan company like SoFi.

6. Voluntary Benefits

Many companies offer voluntary nontraditional benefits that give employees access to coverage and services at a discounted rate. Since the employees elect to receive these benefits, they are responsible for any associated costs, not the employer. Voluntary benefits include things like accident insurance, mental health coverage, identity theft protection and purchasing programs for people with poor credit.

With candidates holding more power than ever in the market, it's important to offer employee benefits that help set your company apart from the rest. These nontraditional benefits save employees time and money, and can alleviate stress while boosting morale and increasing productivity in the office. Consider adding some nontraditional benefits to your incentive packages to attract top-notch talent.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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