C-Suite Advisory

How to Build a Competitive Benefits Package in a Saturated Job Market

The competition for talented employees rages on. Low salaries, long commutes, and inflexible offices are quickly finding their days numbered. Supply employees with benefits that are unique to them to help your company compete in a job market that’s rife with competition.

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” is a quote that’s applicable to everyday life, but it’s especially true for companies that are trying to maneuver through “The Great Resignation.” Despite “help wanted” ads being posted everywhere in sight, companies are struggling to hire employees quickly enough to keep pace with the millions of workers who are leaving their jobs each month due to burnout, increased workloads, changing priorities, and other factors.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.6 million job openings at the end of November. With so many available roles out there, companies trying to figure out how to compete in the job market are looking for any edge they can find to attract and retain high-quality talent in this historically saturated employment landscape.

A competitive job market means companies need to be the employer of choice or risk falling into performance lulls due to understaffing. Office culture, training, and professional development opportunities are enticing, regularly used candidate engagement strategies. And they are integral elements in building a comprehensive and alluring benefits package.

The Pillars of a Rock-Solid Benefits Package

Figuring out how to build a competitive benefits package should start with the basics. Before adding on the bells and whistles, put these amenities at the base of your benefits offerings:

  • Healthcare:
    The pandemic shone an even brighter light on the value of employer-sponsored health insurance. In particular, leaving room in the package for mental wellness support and telemedicine helps companies provide people with end-to-end support.
  • Flexibility:
    Remote work, flexible hours, and four-day workweeks are becoming more of a priority for current job seekers. Individuals might need some space, whether dealing with sick children or family members or other unexpected occurrences. Flexibility in varying forms is likely the most sought-after benefit aside from healthcare and salary.
  • Paid Time Off:
    Paid family leave — including paternity leave and adoption leave — has become highly desirable. Many people in our current economic situation already live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to take multiple days off unpaid.
  • Caregiving Support:
    Childcare and eldercare support have become increasingly important to many employees as they look for options to take some weight off their shoulders. Assisting their vulnerable dependents will help employees manage their stress levels and their time.
  • Financial Wellness Programs:
    COVID-19 led many Americans to become more familiar with the need for sound financial habits than they might have wanted — specifically, it made many of us more aware of how crucial assortments of financial tools, resources, and advice can be.

A complete benefits package gives employees peace of mind. And putting them at ease gives them the assurance to take a chance on you and your company.

How to Build a Distinctive Benefits Package

Competing in the job market right now is the difference between frantically advertising open positions and having a fully staffed organization. An air of satisfaction created by a successful culture fulfilling every employee’s personalized preferences allows companies to retain talent and snag new faces from competitors. Here’s how to build a benefits package that creates such a culture:

  1. Speak to your staff.
    Do you want to bridge the gap between employee expectations and reality regarding benefits? Start by engaging with employees and hearing what they need or expect from your company. Through surveys and regular check-ins, you can create a feedback portal that empowers your team to follow up on recurring or pressing themes.
    If any areas of concern reveal themselves, you should further pursue those conversations until some resolution is reached. Acting as a soundboard that is genuinely committed to being of service to your staff’s benefit needs can spark higher employee satisfaction and, hopefully, improved retention.
  2. Keep employees in the know. An informed employee is a better-prepared one. Benefits being as fluid as they are, keeping employees aware of what’s available and what’s new helps them make more informed decisions and feel supported.
    Going digital is the biggest problem solver for this dilemma. Digital platforms that possess centralized records for company benefits will further employees’ education without requiring them to go through traditional human resources protocols.
  3. Incorporate retention incentives. Every hire is made with the hope that candidates are there to contribute for the long haul. Building retention incentives into your buffet of benefits can be a highlight for new and seasoned associates.
    How can you reward employees for their efforts and their loyalty? Yearly bonuses are a start, as are one-time bonuses for milestone “workiversaries.” You can also provide employees with additional days of paid time off for people who reach the five- and 10-year mark with your company. Giving people that benchmark to work toward can make the idea of even the most strenuous days with your company seem worth it in the long run.

The competition for talented employees rages on. Low salaries, long commutes, and inflexible offices are quickly finding their days numbered. Supply employees with benefits that are unique to them to help your company compete in a job market that’s rife with competition.


Written by Susan Baxter.

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Susan Baxter
Susan Baxter is the senior vice president of HR atIntegrity Staffing Solutions, a full-service staffing agency that ranks in the top 2% of agencies across the country for quality service based on ClearlyRated’s “Best of Staffing” client survey.


Susan Baxter is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn.