Selecting benefits is a tricky decision for HR personnel.

In today’s competitive talent market, prospective employees are making employment decisions based not just on the job itself but on employer brands. They’re extending their work choices beyondHow Business Are Choosing Great Benefits the company’s product to the organisation’s culture and their ability to successfully integrate work and life. For the organisation’s leaders, it’s all about ROI and what the benefit can deliver in engagement, productivity, recruitment and retention.

With so many views, how are trailblazers choosing benefits?

Choosing great benefits

“Hit or miss approaches may have worked during the nascent days of HR when functional leadership was all that mattered,” wrote Bright Horizons Chief HR Officer Dan Henry on the Huffington Post. “But these days, people departments have a pretty competitive job. They’re vying for attention of their elusive human assets in the same way their companies vie for customers with products.”

A new study ‘Making the Business Case for Benefitshighlights that much like consumer marketing, HR departments are researching the target market and devising strategies to compete for talent. Over 90% of the most advanced benefits programmes do things like regularly assessing their programmes to make sure they’re in line with evolving employee marketplace and their organisational needs.  The pioneers are also leading the change using the business and marketing strategy playbook too…

  • Keeping an eye on the market

The HR world is evolving fast and those with their finger on the pulse are ahead of the curve in the battle for talent.  Progressive benefits leaders understand key trends in HR change and that health benefits are the foundation – they’re regularly assessing the market and updating their offering to make sure they’re ahead of the competition.

  • Gaining first hand feedback

Before taking a product to market, designers don’t guess their target audience – they go and speak to them. Benefits leaders are gaining first-hand feedback and confirming exactly what their people need and how they can provide the best support.

  • Mining valuable data

Successful benefits programmes use data to provide valuable insight into how their programme is aligned to their goals. They’re also exploring employee usage to see what is working and understanding what would make the organisation most attractive to prospective talent.

  • Benchmarking against competitors

With more organisations competing in the same talent pool, understanding what your competitor offers and how you can stand out amongst the rest is vital in making your organisation an Employer of Choice.

Like selling products and services, observed Dan, “Successful HR initiatives require a game plan. Done right, it’s a strategic part of your business with measurable returns. Done wrong and it’s just another line item written off on an expense report.”