Data released by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that both hiring and wages are up. Perhaps your company has first-hand experience. You are trying to hire new talent, but you know that doing so will require you to offer higher wages than you have in the past. So what do you do when higher wages alone are not enough to attract the talent you need?
According to the Department of Labor's Employment Cost Index, employers spent 0.6% more on employment costs in the fourth quarter of 2017, after absorbing a 0.7% rise the previous quarter. The total year-on-year rate increase for the period ending with Q3 2017 was 2.6%. It all translates to a 2.8% average wage increase for the 12 months ending this past December.
One more thing to note: experts are predicting 2018 wage growth to continue at the same rate. They also expect the jobless rate to fall to 3.5% by the end of the year. All of this is excellent news for both the labor market and the economy as a whole. But it leads us right back to the question of what employers can do when wages alone aren't enough to attract top talent. The answer is found in a single word: benefits.
Health Insurance Benefits
The topic of health insurance has been one of the hottest since former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. And now that the GOP tax overhaul has dealt a severe blow by repealing the individual mandate as of 2019, health insurance will continue to be front and center in the discussion of employee benefits.
Companies can better compete for top talent by shoring up their health insurance benefits as best they can. While it's true that the cost of health insurance continues to climb, there are innovative solutions for controlling premiums without sacrificing benefit quality. We invite you to contact us to learn more about those solutions. We work with trusted advisors who have access to innovative programs. Together, we can create custom health insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes.
Supplemental Health Benefits
Another good option for attracting new talent is to offer supplemental health benefits above and beyond basic health insurance. These benefits include things like dental and vision coverage, discounts for certain kinds of healthcare programs, telemedicine opportunities, and more.
Through our benefits partners, we offer a virtual shopping center of supplemental benefits employees can utilize as they see fit. This is a good way to offer extra benefits on an à la carte basis so that your employees get just what they want, when they want it.
The 401(k) Plan
Past studies have routinely shown that retirement plans are often more important to employees than raises. People are smart enough to know that they need to save for retirement, even if that means taking money from their weekly paychecks and putting it into a 401(k) plan.
Unfortunately, the costs involved in establishing a 401(k) plan often lead to companies running from the opportunity to help their employees secure their futures. You don't have to run from a retirement plan when you work with us. Just like our health benefits, we work with trusted partners offering some of the most innovative 401(k)s you'll find anywhere.
Wage growth and falling unemployment dictate that your company is going to have to do better with wages to attract new talent in 2018. If you want to attract the best talent possible, you may even have to look into improving benefits packages. If we can help, just let us know.