Competitive total rewards packages are a key battleground in the scramble for talent today. Yet many organizations still rely on outdated approaches when communicating rewards through the hiring process, focusing too much on compensation while neglecting benefits. This is becoming more difficult as salary budgets continue to stagnate: Recent salary surveys suggest that cash wages in the US are unlikely to grow much faster in the coming year than they have in 2018, despite a strong economy and a tight labor market.
While compensation is consistently a top driver of candidate attraction anywhere in the world, we know that candidates are also attracted to tangible benefits like health insurance and paid leave, as well as intangible benefits like flexible scheduling and remote work options. Even as wage growth falls short of expectations, we have seen major US employers investing more in benefits like paid family and sick leave, health insurance, and education benefits like tuition assistance and help with paying off student loans.
To better understand how employers can use their benefit offerings as talent attractors, Gartner’s Total Rewards team worked with data from our talent market intelligence portal TalentNeuron, looking for a connection between how organizations pitch their benefits in job postings and how quickly they are able to fill posted roles. Organizations that don’t leverage their benefits offerings in this way, we found, may be missing out on an opportunity to meaningfully boost their appeal to candidates.
We analyzed more than 1,000,000 job postings by S&P 100 companies in the United States over an 18-month time period. Just 40 percent of these job postings mentioned a specific type of benefit (e.g., medical or family). The most commonly advertised benefits included disability and life insurance, followed by financial and medical benefits. Very few job postings mention dental and vision, family, wellbeing, or work-life balance benefits.
Although most organizations do not mention any benefits in their job postings, we found that doing so can help employers fill roles faster. Simply mentioning dental and vision, financial, family, or disability and life insurance benefits in job postings can decrease posting time by several days. In a historically competitive talent market, employers who don’t take advantage of the attractive power of their benefits packages could be losing out to those that do.