As a general note, most employees want the same types of benefits. Good health insurance, a retirement plan, PTO, and so on. But as an edtech company, if you truly want to attract top talent, here’s what might help your company stand out:
Work from Home is easily the top one right now across all job categories. With that, you might consider offering a stipend for a home office setup including regular Internet and phone reimbursement. During the pandemic we heard a lot about co-working space reimbursement, but that’s not as much of a thing anymore.
Flex Time options so that employees can set their own hours. Many don’t necessarily want a 9 to 5 workday anymore.
Really Good Health Insurance with full company-paid premiums for not only the employee but their family members. Most companies don’t pay premiums for dependents, so this will give you a significant strategic advantage. We don’t hear much about HSAs anymore; what people really want is more coverage inside the plan itself. Make sure to include Dental and Vision coverage, as these are often skimpy or overlooked.
Wellness Benefits that are sometimes linked to the health insurance benefits and sometimes separate. In addition to things like gym membership reimbursement, this includes more life benefits such as mental health care, financial counseling, will creation, marriage counseling, and short- and long-term disability plans.
PTO (personal time off), particularly having a PTO policy that is equitable across all your employees’ locations. At Hire Education, we adopted the California policies since we have California employees and theirs is the most employee-friendly. This not only makes it more equitable, but makes it so you don’t need as many versions of your employee guidebooks.
Other Paid Time Off, for things such as volunteering or voting. Paid Maternity and Paternity leave are a big deal these days (as they should be). While you don’t have to go as far as Sweden in terms of the amount of paid time off, make it good. As an example, while there are officially 12 Federal holidays, we have chosen to cover 16 (Indigenous People’s Day!) AND the week between Christmas and New Years.
Pay Equity and Transparency conversations about equity and clearly defined salary bands. This also demonstrates your company’s commitment to DEI.
Salary Reviews, especially in these inflationary times, making sure that employee compensation remains competitive. Talk with them directly about it on a set, regular basis.
Promise of Advancement, especially for salespeople in terms of more commission and more territory. Offering training programs on improving sales, gaining access to more responsibility, and/or becoming a manager. Especially for Millennials and Gen Z talent, they want to know that there’s a path to advance. They’re happy to do the grunt work as long as it’s going somewhere.
Continuing Education reimbursement for professional development or higher education degrees. Again, this shows your commitment to your employees’ advancement.
Employee Ownership Programs (EOPs) where employees have the option to buy or can earn ownership in the company. These can be Phantom stock ownership/sweat equity, employee stock ownership program (ESOP), stock ownership, SBA-funded employee buyouts, and many more. Many states are putting a lot of money into these programs since there are a lot of Boomer-owned businesses where the owner wants to retire but there’s not a buyer for the business.
President’s Club or some sort of big, fun, incentive trip for sales teams once individuals reach a certain goal.
People often talk about company culture hand in hand with benefits. Some companies offer a quarterly meeting with everyone gathering in a central location, usually that is some work and some play, although realize that many people who work remotely tend to live farther from their families, so it may not be worth adding to their carbon footprint for an in-person get-together.
Also, if you’re looking to set up a truly diverse company, research shows that offering good work-life benefits actually does more to attract diverse talent than using DEI-specific recruitment tactics.
Some benefits are noticeably less important these days than they were pre-COVID. Here are a few people really don’t care much about anymore that might not be worth the bang-for-your-buck in terms of attraction and retention:
Equity and Stock Options in the company, particularly for startups. These used to be standard but now are less so. Look at setting up an EOP instead (see more above).
Office Perks are not as big a deal as they used to be, mostly because so many people work remotely. This includes things like a conveniently located office, paying for parking, or even things like offering great snacks or Kombucha on tap in the office, or having activity-based perks such as video games or ping-pong tables.
Commuter Benefits such as bus passes, mileage reimbursement, or a company car just aren’t a thing anymore.
Work Travel Perks used to be bigger. Things like extra frequent flyer miles, guaranteed business class upgrades for longer flights, etc., but you just don’t see this much anymore.
Casual Friday, since most workplaces have become more casual anyway and/or no one is in the office.
Relocation Packages aren’t as common since so many people work remotely. However, if you do ask someone to relocate, make sure you 100% pay for it.
Matching Retirement Plan Contributions aren’t as prevalent. Most companies have a 401K, but fewer companies match these days and it doesn’t seem to be a dealbreaker. Not that employees dislike this benefit, but it may not be worth your while.
Not that this is a benefit, but if you’re a smaller company with a remote workforce, you might consider a professional employer organization (PEO), where your employees technically work for a different company and you lease them. This is what we do at Hire Education since we have employees all over the U.S. and the compliance across so many different states was becoming burdensome. It also gives us more options from a health insurance perspective to make sure the quality is the same for all your employees across the country.
Realize that ultimately, the benefits you offer aren’t as much about attracting top talent as they are about retaining it. Keeping your employees happy not only helps with retention, but improves your overall company culture, morale, and even your productivity. It’s a win-win!
Need help finding top edtech talent? We’re here for you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 877.Hire.Edu.