Has anyone noticed that the legacy benefits many organizations provide no longer make as much sense nowadays?
Here are some benefits I think would be attractive to some potential recruits, of course knowing each person is lured by something different.
- “Vacation Support.” We all know lots of people who have vacation days but either a) don’t have time to take them; b) find it more stressful to take them than not; and/or c) work almost as much on vacation as when they’re, uh, working. I imagine some people would rather have what I’ll call 15 “vacation support” days than 20 vacation days. With these vacation support days, the employer would help the employee take a real vacation, mainly sans Blackberry, by helping get a temp, helping distribute their work, or making other arrangements so they can leave without too much stress. I also like the no-vacation-policy most associated with Netflix.
- Immediate Health Insurance. Employers would make up the gap between the start date and the insurance kicking in. If the job candidate is insured via COBRA, a union group plan, a professional association plan, or something else, they could reimburse some or all of the employee’s premium during the time (often one month) between when they start work and when they are insured. Or, they could help the employee buy into an individual plan. A relative of mine is in market for a healthcare job and is currently uninsured. If he gets two offers, one with more immediate health insurance would be more enticing, all other things being equal.
- Social Media Support. The employer would allow time and tools for an employee to blog or otherwise use social media. By your chef setting up a Facebook page about making pastries, she is viewed as an expert and it becomes marketing for the company. She is more valuable to future employers, which smart companies know perversely helps retention. In other words, recruits want to work at companies that boost their careers.
- Stay an Extra Day. Employees can stay an extra day (without taking a vacation day) and have some spending money following an annual department meeting or other business travel.
- Benefits Navigator. The majority of Americans continue to be happy with the quality of U.S. health care, with happiness rising in recent years. But that doesn’t they like navigating health insurance companies. Small and mid-size companies could provide people a third party to help them with disputes and such, something that can be easier for employees at a large firm with a bigger benefits department.
- Revamped Maternity Leave. It’s hard to work 100% time when pregnant, and not everyone wants to work 0% after having a baby. Maternity leave could be reworked a bit to provide more time during the end of pregnancy and possibly less time after childbirth (realizing, of course, there are complicated legal and other issues here, like not wanting to let an employer know you’re pregnant).
Notice I didn’t directly mention anything about flexibility, or working from home. While for some companies these are still foreign concepts, I see these less as benefits or “extras” and more of just smart management, something that in many cases should be, but isn’t, a no-brainer.