Wood Words

Push Your Perks! Use 401(k) as a Year-Round Recruiting and Retention Tool

Ask a high-performer to explain what “compensation” means to them, and they’re likely to respond with much more than just “salary.” Smart employees and job seekers consider the entire package your organization offers: pay, benefits, perks and more.

So, how do does your total compensation compare to the competition’s?

In today’s employment market, it matters. Unemployment is extremely low, and employers in many counties throughout Middle Tennessee are experiencing critical talent shortages. The best candidates (and your current employees!) have their pick of job opportunities; it’s critical to use every advantage you have to recruit and retain them.

Your 401(k) program can give you the edge you need.

The IRS has recently implemented several changes which may impact your offerings, including:

  • Higher IRA income limits. In the past, an employee’s income had to be under $62,000/yr. for them to have both a 401(k) and an IRA at the same time. Now, that cap has been raised to $72,000/yr.
  • Higher income limits for “saver’s credits.” Employees who receive low or moderate wages (i.e., less than $31,000/yr.) can now save $250 more under the saver’s credit.

Use these changes to your advantage! While you may have offered retirement benefits for years, here are a few reasons why it’s smart to use your 401(k) program as a recruiting and retention tool:

  • Times have changed. Workers in younger generations, particularly those who struggled to launch their careers during the Great Recession, consider a strong benefits package a major selling point.
  • Strong retirement benefits = happy employees. According to a recent MetLife study, employees who are satisfied with their benefits are happier, harder-working and more loyal.

How can you “sell” your 401(k) offerings to recruit and retain great people?

Use these opportunities to educate job seekers and employees:

  • Job postings. Include a detailed overview of your total compensation package right in the online posting.
  • New hire orientation and onboarding. Review benefits on day one, so new staff know how much you value them.
  • During online employee portal training. Train employees how to access and understand their benefits, so they can maximize the value of your 401(k) program.
  • Anytime your benefits change. Changes in retirement benefits can cause anxiety and stress in employees; communicating honestly about why changes are made – and how they will impact employees – will alleviate that anxiety and stress.
  • Refresher courses. Offering benefits guidance in the form of a class, seminar or reading materials shows your ongoing commitment to employees – and distinguishes you as an employer of choice.

Offer a killer 401(k) program? Tell us about it when you use our temp-to-hire or direct-hire services. We can help you leverage your benefits offerings to build your employment brand and gain a recruiting edge on the competition.