What Benefits Attract The Best Employees?

When talented people are looking for a job, employee benefits are one of, if not the most important aspect they consider when deciding to apply to a position. Offering lackluster employee benefits won’t only dissatisfy your current employees, but it’ll drive away potential top talent from being interested in working for your business. We rounded up the top three benefits that job seekers say add weight to their application decision, so you can remain competitive on the job market and attract top talent.

Health, Dental & Vision Insurance

88% of employees cited better health, vision and dental insurance as factors that would sway their decision to apply to a company1. Lackluster insurance benefits won’t only turn top talent away from your business, but it’ll also affect morale and retention of existing employees.

Comprehensive dental and vision plans as part of an employee benefit package are also crucial; while 67% of small businesses and 97% of large employers offer dental insurance benefits, only 47% of small organizations and 82% of large employers offer vision benefits2. By offering both dental and vision insurance, you can surpass the benefits of your competitors, and in turn, drive top talent to your organization. This will also positively impact employee health, creating a more productive workforce.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Ranking next on the list at 80% is more vacation time, or paid time off (PTO)3. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any HR department that employees value personal and vacation time, especially when their employer is paying them for it. 76% of private sector employers offer paid time off4, meaning that 24% of private companies don’t offer PTO at all!

It goes without saying that in order to attract top talent, it’s better to offer the most comprehensive benefits you can afford, and PTO should be moved high on the list. Not offering employees PTO won’t only drive top talent away, but it’ll do major harm to existing employee morale and work ethic. By affording your staff PTO to focus on their personal lives and loved ones, you will cultivate a greater quality of life and contribute to positive mental health—both at home and in the workplace.

Student Loan & Tuition Assistance

In 2016, 70% of Americans who had a bachelor’s degree were carrying some form of debt associated with college loans. On average, the academic portion of a four year degree costs $34,7405, and that’s without factoring in off-campus housing, text books and other living expenses.

With most professional talent having at least a bachelor’s degree (and the subsequent debt associated with it), it’s more important than ever to offer some sort of student debt assistance. It also doesn’t hurt to offer tuition assistance benefits for workers currently advancing their education; by offering to pay for or reimburse a certain percentage of tuition, people earning advanced or specialized degrees will be more attracted to the business and motivated to contribute their skills for longer periods of time.

Every Business Is Different

While the information above takes into consideration the average statistics for employees and employers, we know that every business is unique. Depending on the age and experience-levels of the talent your business requires, the benefits your workforce values can vary drastically. A Millennial, for example, may be willing to accept a job with a lower salary at a company that offers more paid time off, than say a Baby Boomer who holds financial stability in the highest regard.

It may be that the best option for your organization is a custom employee benefits package that lets you tailor the benefits offered to the unique and changing needs of your staff and people that you seek to recruit. Regardless, cultivating a rewarding workplace by prioritizing the needs of your employees should always be considered first and foremost in order to attract and retain them for the long haul.


  1. The Most Desirable Employee Benefits, Harvard Business Review
  2. 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
  3. The Most Desirable Employee Benefits, Harvard Business Review
  4. Employee Benefits In The United States, Bureau Of Labor Statistics
  5. The Average Cost Of College in 2018, Student Debt Relief