Want to Attract Top Talent? Provide the Best in Employee Benefits: Financial Wellness Plans

The first quarter is widely known as the biggest hiring season of the year. As you post job listings, interview candidates and narrow down your top choices, you may wonder: In a job applicant’s market, how am I going to ensure that the best and brightest join my team?

Over 300,000 jobs were added to the market in December, which means you have to work harder than ever before to win over top talent. And it’s not just about getting the best candidates in the door — Americans are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001, making employee retention just as important.

To attract and keep the best candidates around for the long haul, your company needs to re-evaluate its employee benefits packages — starting with understanding what exactly employees are looking for. One key area to consider is offering comprehensive financial wellness plans to your employees. Here’s why.

They Can Help You Exceed Employee Expectations Without Flashy Perks

Studies have shown that as many as 60 percent of people cite benefits offerings as a major factor in their decision to accept a job. But because 401(k)s, health insurance and paid holidays have become the norm, they may no longer help your company stand out in the job market. On top of this, studies have shown that employees may not actually care about flashy perks like pingpong tables or yoga in the office.

Although they may not sound particularly exciting on the surface, financial wellness plans are the next big thing when it comes to employee benefits. Much like health insurance, financial wellness plans provide practical and actionable support to employees. For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2018 financial wellness survey found that over 50 percent of employees are stressed about their finances and want help. The state of financial wellness in the U.S. speaks for itself — student debt is skyrocketing, savings rates are down and more Americans are retiring later in their careers.

Comprehensive financial wellness plans support employees on topics including legal issues, taxes, insurance and identity theft, and often include personalized advice from a certified financial planner (CFP). While some financial wellness programs are only geared toward retirement planning, financial planning isn’t solely centered around this topic — it’s something that takes place in many different facets of life.

They Apply Throughout Every Phase of Life

Holistic financial wellness plans ensure that employees feel prepared for life’s biggest moments — and they make it easy to find all of the advice one may need.

For example, an employee who plans to get married may find they need an attorney’s guidance with a prenuptial agreement, or help with taxes because they have a new double-income status after the big day. Sending a child to college is another life event that can be a lengthy and complicated financial process. With the help of a CFP, parents can figure out how much they should be putting away each month so they don’t have to worry about how to finance their child’s education.

Beyond life’s big moments, financial wellness plans ensure that employees feel prepared for the unexpected. In the instance that an employee finds themselves with a life-threatening illness, medical leave and health insurance may not cover all needs. Financial wellness plans provide an extra level of support — they can aid employees in determining how to best finance their care, and an attorney can help to parse estate plans or hospital agreements. In moments like this, employees shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay their bills — they should simply focus on getting better.

Also, there are some things that can’t be planned for — identity theft, for example, which reportedly was the fastest growing crime in the U.S. last year. A comprehensive financial wellness plan includes identity-theft protection, along with resources to help employees regain their identity in case of an emergency.

But beyond major and unexpected life events, financial wellness programs provide resources for everyday planning. Financial wellness plans have employees covered in terms of monitoring their credit, providing assistance with taxes or helping them proactively create an estate plan.

If your company is looking for ways to provide depth and breadth to your employee benefits package, financial wellness plans may be the perfect solution. While health insurance and paid time off aren’t going anywhere, it’s going to take more than free snacks in the office to bring in the best candidates. Providing a financial wellness plan as part of a well-rounded benefits package can help you win the most qualified new hires and keep employees around for life.