4 employee perks that attract and retain talent

Every business wants to attract and retain top talent, but it’s often easier said than done. And with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the turnover rate in 2021 was at 47.2%,¹ that means the fight for finding and keeping the best employees is harder than before.

According to a ManpowerGroup study, 75% of employers can’t find the people they need with the right blend of technical skills and human strengths.² What does that lead to? Difficulty hiring and retaining the right people. Companies must stand out in this competitive marketplace because—let’s face it—it’s a job seeker’s market.

To stand out from the crowd, you need to know what workers are looking for in their next employer. And you have to offer the perks that job seekers want and need. That’s why we’ve gathered the four benefits workers are expecting to see in their future employers.


It’s no secret that workers are looking for flexibility in their jobs, with a big emphasis on maintaining an optimal work-life balance. No one wants to waste time on a long commute—employees want the option of fully remote or hybrid work. Not all workers excel in an in-office environment, and not all workers excel in a strictly remote environment. There has to be a happy medium...or your employees will go elsewhere to find it.

If your business isn’t in a position to allow a fully remote team, consider a hybrid option or relax your working hours. Maybe you don’t need everyone sitting at their desks from 9 to 5, trying to find something to do. Focus on performance, not the number of hours clocked. Providing flexibility makes employees happier, leads to higher job satisfaction and helps encourage employees to stick around for the long term.

Mental health awareness

Exacerbated by the pandemic, more and more businesses are making mental health awareness a priority. Employees are feeling more overwhelmed, depressed and burnt out, which leads to them being less motivated, engaged and productive. Because of this, workers are looking to their employers to offer mental health support as part of their benefits package.

Including mental health resources that support emotional well-being, like virtual mental health visits or Employee Assistance Programs, is a big selling point for potential job candidates. If you decide to offer these benefits, also make it a point to encourage your team to take advantage of these resources to help promote emotional well-being and mental health. It’s a win for your employees and a win for your company.

Voluntary benefits

Offering voluntary benefits (i.e., services or goods that are paid fully or partially by an employee but at a group discount rate provided by the employer) is a growing trend because it allows employees to choose benefits that are best suited to their needs. These benefits can include identity theft protection, pet insurance, financial counseling or even supplemental insurance packages like life or cancer coverage.

Providing voluntary benefits adds value to your business, allowing your employees to choose what they want or need for their lifestyle instead of your company paying for benefits that your employees don’t (or won’t) use. Giving employees the option for voluntary benefits, like legal services plans or long-term care insurance, is a great way to attract top talent. When workers see that you value whatever their needs may be, they’ll want to stick around.

Attention to diversity and inclusion

As our society continues toward the inclusion of all, many companies are creating DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) programs to outline distinct policies that establish the representation and participation of people from all sorts of backgrounds, abilities, experiences and skill sets. It’s easy to get this confused with the Americans with Disabilities Act or other Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws that make it illegal to discriminate against specific characteristics.

DEI programs focus on attributes such as individual experiences, skills, opinions or personalities, along with providing all employees with the same opportunities and the space for every employee to thrive and contribute, regardless of background or abilities. Workers are looking for companies who are transparent about their DEI policies because they see that businesses are looking to address inequalities and consistently take action to be inclusive.

Be intentional

Whatever perks or benefits you decide to offer, be intentional with what you choose, and have a plan to follow through. If your business allows for it, offer a flexible work environment or schedule; put resources toward promoting mental health awareness within the workplace; provide various voluntary benefits that employees can choose to take part in; and focus on becoming a diverse, equitable and inclusive business. Job seekers can be choosy—make your business the place they choose to be. 

¹2021 Bureau Labor of Statistics, March 10, 2022. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t16.htm

²ManpowerGroup, 2022. https://go.manpowergroup.com/talent-shortage

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