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Benefits of the Future - Employer Perspective

Benefits of the Future - Employer Perspective


March 10, 2008

The U.S. workforce is in transition. Over the next 25 years, as the Baby Boomer population faces retirement, new generations will be taking the helm of the workforce. This transfer will create a vacuum in the availability of workers, as the larger Boomer population is replaced by smaller successive generations.

With the growth in the workforce expected to slow or remain flat, employers will face a more challenging hiring environment for new employees and will need to shift greater emphasis to retaining existing workers. A competitive and attractive compensation and benefit plan will also be more important than ever, as the competition to hire and keep workers is likely to increase to a level never experienced by U.S. employers.

Monster conducted research with an aim to help employers better understand the competitive marketplace for employee compensation and benefit plans. The research examines how employers are responding today—as well as how they plan to respond in the future—to the growing competition for workers by refining their compensation plans and benefits to attract and keep workers.


• Human Resources managers are targeting annual performance bonuses to reinforce workers’ compensation, tying such incentives to company performance. Such bonuses are second only to salary as a means to attract and retain workers, closely followed by 401(k) programs with some level of matching funds.

• Company equity such as stock options and restricted stock plans are a low priority for Human Resources managers, with such benefits typically reserved for high-level recruitment efforts. Pension plans are also unpopular, with nearly half of companies not even considering such a benefit.

• Among non-compensation benefits, companies are focusing on healthcare or healthcare- related benefits; however, the rising costs associated with such benefits have made this a challenge, and many companies are shifting healthcare costs to employees. Accepting the role as a healthcare provider is an area in which companies can gain a competitive advantage.

• Fitness and health club memberships—a benefit offered or considered by very few employers—may present an opportunity to reduce healthcare costs by keeping the workforce healthy.

• Time off from work is a popular benefit offered by many companies, with such benefits seen as valuable in retention and recruitment strategies. This includes paid vacation, personal time off (non-paid) and allowing workers to carry over vacation time to the following year. Workplace flexibility, such as working from home, flex-time and job sharing, are also popular benefits being offered or under consideration.

• Among family-oriented benefits, maternity and paternity leave are the most popular benefits offered or under consideration by companies. Few companies offer subsidized or free child care or assistance with fertility treatments or adoption.

• While companies acknowledge the importance and value of their workforce, few have formal programs to recognize worker contributions. Companies that recognize the opportunity to provide such programs could gain a competitive advantage in retaining their employees.

• Professional development programs that help workers stay smart and knowledgeable, such as paid education, represent an untapped opportunity, as nearly 40% of companies are not even considering such benefits. Organizations that continuously develop their human capital may provide a competitive advantage over those that do not.

• Convenience-oriented benefits, such as on-site dry cleaning, banking and postal services, are offered by few companies; however such services may save employees time while increasing productivity by keeping them at work. These services may lack consideration because of the critical mass of employees required to offer them; therefore they may be an advantage for larger companies with a large employee population that can justify offering them.

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