Employers emphasise health & wellbeing in hiring and retention

One third of employers say health & wellbeing support is now more important than ever to recruitment and retention.

Potential employees have, over the last couple of years, become more interested in health and wellbeing support when deciding which company to join, according to one-third (34%) of employers in the latest research1 from Towergate Health & Protection.

Interest in health and wellbeing support was reported to have grown among potential recruits, according to 34% of employers, as was interest in the overall benefits package, which was also said to have increased by 34% of employers. The relevance of this becomes more apparent still when compared to just 40% of employers who stated that potential employees are more interested in higher salary.

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, says:

“For health and wellbeing support to attract and retain talent, it’s crucial to ensure the support offered is fit for purpose and meets the needs of the organisation and its workforce.

“Businesses should develop health and wellbeing strategies which consider factors such as: the requirements of the workforce based on the industry, location, job roles and demographics, including different generation needs; the four pillars of health and wellbeing – support should include mental, physical, social and financial aspects; any benefits already in place and the additional, often under-used, features they may have.”

“Strategies do not need to be complex or costly. Simple strategies with good communication that address these factors can be very successful, especially where consideration is given to the measurement of engagement and effectiveness of implementation.”

“The research confirms something of which we have long since been aware: that salary alone is no longer enough to attract and retain the best talent. Health and wellbeing support is now a key driver when people are choosing their employer.”

The research shows that employers are finding recruitment and retention more difficult, with 31% stating they now find it harder to attract talent, and 28% saying it is harder to hold on to talent.

The significance of health and wellbeing support being offered is made clear by 38% of employers who state it is a key reason for people choosing to work for them, and 36% of employers who state it is a key reason people choose to stay with the company. A targeted approach is also increasingly important, with 37% of employers saying the support they offer for health and wellbeing helps them to recruit and retain key demographics of employees. Unfortunately, nearly a third (30%) of employers say that they do not offer enough health and wellbeing support and that this impacts their ability to recruit and retain people.

Debra Clark added:

‘We would encourage employers to take every opportunity to promote their benefits at recruitment stage, from job adverts and interview, to induction. There is no point in having benefits if no-one knows they exist.’

In terms of the specific support being offered, 21% of employers felt the overall health and wellbeing package offered had recently increased in importance as a deciding factor in choosing which company to work for; 20% stated support for mental health had increased in importance for potential employees, and 13% cited support for financial health helped with recruitment. For some employers, it was the company’s wider support that was important, with 10% stating that having an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy had grown most in importance over the last 12 months, in terms of enhancing recruitment and retention.

Interestingly, 28% of employers who took part in the research said that it is becoming harder to engage with their employees. This is perhaps linked to the 10% of employers who stated that the most important thing they have increased in the last 12 months in order to enhance the recruitment and retention of talent is the communication of the health and wellbeing support they offer.

Debra Clark concurs:

“In the post-pandemic working world, with hybrid working and a new focus on work/life balance, health and wellbeing support is more vital than ever in attracting the best talent from a range of demographics. It is interesting that 10% of employers say that it is the communication of these benefits that has increased most in importance to help recruitment and retention. There is more to health and wellbeing than putting the support in place: employers must then make sure employees know about the support, and are engaged with it, if they want it to help with their recruitment and retention. Using digital platforms and issuing regular messaging can help ensure employees are aware of what is available and find it easy to access when they need it.”

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