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How incentives can help companies win the war for talent

Talent is in high demand at the moment.

Allie Nawrat

Credit: Jurij Kenda via Unsplash.

McDonald’s believes incentives are the answer to attracting talent. Unleash Your People

Demand for talent is outstripping supply.

The latest US jobs report found that employees are not afraid to leave their current jobs and look for something new if they are not happy with their role or employer.

A major cause of employees looking for a new job is burnout, as well as a lack of career prospects, according to a US survey by Monster.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in June the number of job leavers increased by 164,000 to 942,000. In addition, there are more than 6.4 million people who are out of work, but interested in getting a new job.

While employers must focus on retaining their existing talent, it is also crucial that organizations think about they are going to encourage those on the lookout for new opportunities to come and work for them, rather than working for a rival or staying on unemployment benefits.

One of the innovative strategies employers are using to win the war for talent is expanding their benefits and incentives.

McDonald’s as a case study

One example of a company offering incentives is McDonald’s.

The fast food giant has decided to invest millions of dollars in order to raise hourly pay, introduce more time off, help cover tuition costs and offering emergency childcare for its restaurant workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Childcare is a particularly important consideration for employees and those on unemployment benefits; this is because it remains possible that children could be sent home from school at short notice because of a localized COVID-19 outbreak.

This latest move from McDonald’s comes after it decided last month to invest in training, as well as offer workplace flexibility, to its global employees.  

But McDonald’s is not the only company that is employing incentives to attract talent. This approach is actually very common in the US hospitality sector – Papa John’s and Chipotle have also introduced sign on bonuses and expanded benefits for caregivers. This makes sense as hospitality has been one of the industries hardest hit during the pandemic.

But incentives aren’t only happening in the hospitality sector. In fact, research by Indeed found that in June 4.1% of job postings had hiring incentives as part of the advert.

In addition, hourly earnings in the US are on the up; with year-on-year increase from June 2020 being 3.7%.

HR tech helps with incentives and talent attraction

While it is too early to tell definitively if incentives will push employees to choose certain employers over others in the context of the pandemic, there is evidence that good benefits are an important talent attractor.

For UK-based InsureTech startup YuLife, which aims to help people live their best lives by prioritizing their financial, physical, and mental wellbeing, offering wellbeing benefits to their employees is essential to them not just attracting lots of talent, but the right people.

So incentives and new benefits offerings, particularly those that genuinely empower employees and meet their personalized needs, are something that all employers should consider in the next normal in the future of work.

But they are not alone in navigating the complexity of employee benefits, HR tech companies and platforms are here to help.

There are a number of all-in-one benefits management solutions on the market. Examples include Reward Gateway, which was recently acquired by private equity firms Abry Partners and Castik Capital, Benify, Perkbox and FlexGenius.

These can help ensure the experience of accessing and using benefits is as seamless and user friendly as possible.

However, some companies are choosing to keep their benefits more in house, and then outsourcing certain elements of their benefits package.

One example where HR tech solutions can empower employers to offer leading specialist offerings is in the realm of fertility.

For instance, UK-based Fertifa aims to use technology to “make fertility and reproductive health more accessible and affordable for all”. It does this by offering tailored fertility benefit programs to employers of all sizes and connecting employees with its network of fertility specialists and doctors.

While Peppy is supporting the likes of Aviva and Santander with their new, groundbreaking menopause benefits offerings. Peppy particularly helps organizations to provide employees going through menopause with access to one-tone-phone consultations and live chat with experts and specialists who can provide reassurance.

Another example is mental health and wellbeing support for employees. There are a plethora of apps that can help with mental wellbeing, including YuLife, Lyra Health and Unmind.

During the pandemic employers have dialled up their focus on their workers, and particularly regarding their wellbeing.

However, to keep their talent long-term, as well as continue to grow their teams, organizations need to be inventive about their benefits offerings.

It is no longer enough to offer the bar minimum or the same as everyone else.

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