Should Compensation Be Tailor-Made?

By | February 19, 2018

In today’s business reality, an organization’s biggest investment is its human capital. In fact, employees are the key to any successful company. Unfortunately, the insurance industry faces an increasingly challenging war for talent. From a mass exodus of tenured, skilled professionals to a shallow talent pool, the recruiting climate within insurance is heating up.

In order to compete for top talent amid a tightened labor pool, differentiation will be key. With candidates able to choose between multiple job offers, an organization that provides unique and competitive compensation and benefits will stand out from the crowd.

How can companies develop an in-demand compensation package to better compete for talent?

Total Compensation

In today’s labor market, compensation goes beyond just salary. While salary certainly is an important deciding factor for candidates, there are additional aspects of a well-rounded benefits package that must be addressed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits can comprise up to 30 percent of one’s total salary and should not be overlooked.

Organizations need to focus on the “hidden paycheck” aspect of a total compensation package. This includes retirement plans, vacation time, tuition reimbursement, wellness incentives and more. Companies may be surprised to learn that nearly 90 percent of today’s professionals prefer the addition of these perks and benefits in a compensation package to pay raises from their employers, according to a recent Glassdoor survey.

In order to better compete with other industries, insurance organizations must beef up their current offerings. Appealing to the broader sense of the individual employee and providing benefits and perks to match may be a critical differentiator. Providing unique and comprehensive benefits is a simple, but effective way to truly stand out from the competition.

Personalized Accommodations

In an increasingly fast-paced and always connected work environment, finding harmony between office and home life is becoming increasingly important. Employees are seeing the line between their work life and home life blur and are searching for a way to balance the two. Organizations providing accommodations that increase flexibility and work/life balance are much more likely to attract top talent.

Flexible work programs are becoming increasingly important as employees look for work/life balance. For organizations unable to provide competitive salaries, incorporating flexible accommodations into their compensation package may be key to attracting and retaining employees. From flexible scheduling to telecommuting, these accommodations are shown to foster productivity and creativity.

The key to a successful flexible accommodation program is to move beyond “one-size-fits-all” strategies and adjust benefits based on individual employee needs. Work/life balance means different things to different demographics. It is important for organizations to understand that not all employees will be looking for the same options. For some employees, flexible scheduling involves adjusting start and end times to meet daycare and school needs. For others, it may be a compressed work week with four 10-hour days. Perhaps it includes telecommuting on a part-time–or even full-time–basis.

Regardless of the format, the flexibility to plan work around individual needs is increasingly invaluable to today’s professionals. Companies may want to look into implementing an a la carte-style program that enables individual employees to select the benefits that work best for them and their flexible lifestyle needs.

This is a candidate’s market. Faced with this reality, standing out from the crowd is key to competing for top talent.

An all-encompassing compensation package that incorporates flexible work accommodations may be the differentiator.

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: More from David Coons

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Insurance Journal West February 19, 2018
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