United Kingdom

Employers need to be more explicit in rewards communication to attract talent

January 2018

People are more likely to apply for jobs where the employee benefits are made clear, research has shown.

A good benefits package is a well-known sweetener for attracting and retaining talent, yet a recent report by Canada Life in December 2017 highlighted that many employers fall short in promoting the message to staff.

If employers clearly highlighted which employee benefits they provide, new staff would be more inclined to apply, according to 85% of respondents to a survey. Specifically, 94% of employees aged 24-34, said that details about such benefits would influence their decision to send an application.

This clear message to employers comes as a result of a survey by Canada Life which highlighted 31% of respondents wanted their employer to provide more information on benefits. And 19% said that despite information received about benefits when they began their employment, little else has been said on the subject.

Around a third, 32%, of respondents felt that it was up to the employer to let staff know about incentives, while 12% said this was down to both employer and employee.

HR Magazine reported that the research suggested that rewards communication is “often sporadic”, with 37% saying that their employers were helpful and transparent.

Canada Life Group’s marketing director Paul Davies, said: “It is very encouraging to see younger employees in particular are taking such an interest in workplace benefits. However, there does seem to be a worrying lack of clarity about what is available and who employees should direct their enquiries to. Proactive, ongoing messaging with clear internal ownership is needed.”

Giles Phillips, senior reward manager at retirement housing and care home provider Anchor, said: “Being clear about rewards and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining talent,” he told HR Magazine.

“We use internal communications to let employees know what’s available to them, and we make sure it’s easy to find out. We know that everyone has a smartphone these days, so we set up a private Facebook page where they can check rewards and benefits easily.”

Phillips added that both staff and employers should be responsible for keeping abreast of employee benefits. "It shouldn't all be down to the employer. While there's a lot they can do to be clear about benefits, it's up to employees to find out what they're entitled to as well," he said.

Aon’s senior benefits consultant, Manesh Patel said: “Salary is important. However, within professional sectors, a large part of joining a company, or even before leaving a company, is understanding its total reward or compensation package in order to make a like-for-like comparison. Total packages can contribute quite highly towards someone’s total earnings.

“It is easy to just offer a range of benefits and think people will find them attractive, but for instance, with the new generation of workforce coming through, it is important to consider benefits and packages that are targeted to the specific roles and demographic that employers are trying to attract or appeal to whilst also being innovative and exciting.”

Patel suggested that employers who spend on marketing and communications, with tools and aids such as education sessions for employees to help them understand and have an awareness of their benefits, will stand out from their competitors because employees will be more involved.

He added: “It is involvement with the benefit that really engages the employee. Using creative communication on a very regular basis and new technology as well as some traditional media helps forge this partnership between employees and their benefits.”



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