48% of employers have invested in benefits due to economic climate change

benefits package investment Nearly half (48%) of employers have boosted investment in their benefits package over the last 12 months in response to economic climate changes, according to research by benefits provider Zest.

Its findings also revealed that more than one-third (36%) of respondents now worry they cannot keep up with competitors’ raising salaries and will not be able to attract or retain the right talent, with approximately two-fifths (42%) having difficulties recruiting staff.

The research also highlighted prospective employees’ shifting priorities, with many now putting greater weight on workplace flexibility and personalised benefits, and reconsidering what they really need from an employer post-pandemic.

Among respondents that are struggling to recruit, just under half said demand for flexible work terms (48%) is now the biggest factor hindering their recruitment efforts. Salary (46%) was the next largest factor, followed by demands for better employee benefits packages (43%).

The research also demonstrated the importance of benefits’ role benefits in an employer’s ability to meet evolving employee demands. While 27% of respondents attributed missed talent acquisition opportunities to their inability to raise salaries, 43% said failure to offer accessible and comprehensive benefits packages as the critical contributing factor.

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Matt Russell, chief executive officer at Zest, said: “The findings show that a holistic benefits strategy paired with flexible working practices can help set businesses apart. More than ever employers need to work to understand candidates’ unique needs in the race to recruit, motivate and retain great talent.

“As candidates demand more flexibility in their working lives, employers must rise to that challenge by offering working arrangements and benefits that are also sufficiently flexible and personalised. When it comes to benefits, employers should prioritise packages that can be individually tailored. Even the most cost-effective rewards can be incredibly successful if it effectively meets the needs of employees on a personal level.”