From Healthcare to Happiness: Crafting a Competitive Benefits Package

In today’s tight squeezed market, salaries, and wages by themselves often are not enough for companies to attract and keep top talent. This is why creating a robust, competitive employee benefits package is more important than ever. Benefits that address workers’ diverse needs and priorities can be a key differentiator when it comes to both recruitment and retention. A thoughtful benefits design requires weighing so-called main offerings like healthcare against perks with unique appeal.

Major Medical Insurance

Comprehensive major medical insurance is still one of the most sought-after benefits by today’s job seekers. With healthcare costs continuing to go up, workers greatly value employer-subsidized medical plans that help reduce their own premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. When designing medical offerings, balancing premium affordability for employees against sufficient plan richness is the way to go.

Medical insurance really should include solid prescription drug, mental health, and preventive care benefits. If possible, offering a choice of plan options helps allow customization. Strong medical benefits show that the company cares about its employees‘ overall wellbeing. This helps draws talent while boosting engagement and loyalty.

Retirement Savings Plans


Retirement plans are another crucial component of competitive compensation packages today. 401(k)s and similar tax-advantaged savings offerings help employees build nest eggs through pre-tax or Roth contributions. Employer-matching funds are massively attractive as they basically represent free money for retirement.

The ability to enroll in group plans with institutional pricing also makes retirement benefits valuable for recruitment and retention. Evaluate options like auto-enrollment and matching contribution escalation to further enhance offerings. Retirement readiness directly impacts worker satisfaction and financial stress.

Paid Time Off

Although not as exciting as medical insurance or retirement plans, paid time off remains tremendously important to employees. PTO encompasses vacation and sick days, allowing workers paid intervals for rest, recreation, and addressing illnesses or injuries. Skimping on PTO relative to industry norms makes hiring and retention difficult.

Family-Friendly Policies


Benefits supporting working families, like paid parental leave and on-site child care, are differentiating perks for many job seekers today. Employees with children or elder caregiving responsibilities especially value family-friendly policies that acknowledge their life circumstances. Consider benefits such as:

  • Paid maternity and paternity leave.
  • Adoption/surrogacy assistance
  • Flexible scheduling.
  • Childcare stipends.
  • Elder care resources.
  • Milk shipping for nursing moms.

Millennials and Gen Z talent in particular prioritize family-supportive benefits when evaluating employers. Get creative with offerings that ease work/life friction for caregivers.

Bonus Income

Beyond foundational benefits like medical insurance and retirement plans, employees appreciate perks that put extra cash in their pockets. Spot bonuses, profit sharing, referral bonuses, and similar programs supplement base earnings in tangible ways. Some companies even offer employee stock purchase plans granting share discounts.

Bonus income opportunities boost morale while supporting recruitment and retention. Tie programs primarily to performance and participation to incentivize engagement and longevity. Make sure programs comply with compensation regulations. Extra earnings give workers greater financial flexibility and demonstrate company generosity.

Unique Perks


Increasingly, job seekers prioritize fun and innovative perks that speak to personal interests. Examples include on-site fitness centers, telemedicine services, tuition assistance, adoption aid, pet insurance, travel stipends, unlimited time off, and more. Get input on which “nice-to-have” perks employees value most.

These types of offerings may not be practical or cost-effective for some companies to handle internally. That’s where businesses can outsource employee benefits through other providers, say the experts at VertiSource HR. Outsourced benefits deliver desired offerings without overburdening internal HR. The key is choosing perks that maximize appeal and differentiation.


Balancing foundational benefits like medical insurance with extras like family policies, bonus income, and unique perks is key to crafting a compelling package. Benefits should address both essential needs and quality-of-life desires. With the right mix, benefits become a powerful recruitment and retention force.

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