Startups Use Insurance Benefits To Attract and Retain Tech Talent

About the author: Ruth Ragusa is an independent licensed insurance agent based in New Orleans and founder of FleurINS – follow her on Twitter @ruthragusa & LinkedIn.

With unemployment rates at historic low levels, attracting the best of the best tech talent to join your startup is more difficult than ever. Limited financial resources and early-stage business models make hiring local talent in industries like IT, software, and life sciences very difficult when there are less candidates available – especially in smaller tech markets like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Shreveport.

In venture capital rich markets like Silicon Valley and Austin, The Wall Street Journal’s article Tech’s Costly Health Benefits Pay Dividends reports that “Tech companies that don’t yet turn a profit are doling out benefit packages worth over $100,000 per employee. According to their investors, this is good for their bottom lines, not just their consciences.”

Most tech workers aren’t motivated solely by money. They want flexibility, a culture, a job with a purpose and insurance benefits. With so many factors affecting professionals when making a decision to work for a company, how you differentiate your organization in a tight job market is the difference between success and failure in executive recruiting.

Today innovative employers go beyond competitive salary and stock to attract top candidates and retain key employees, they also offer a comprehensive insurance benefits package. Access to employer-paid health insurance, employee-paid voluntary insurance as well as paid vacation, sick days, maternity/paternity leave, and 401(k) plans are all important factors people consider when deciding to work for a company.

Offering a comprehensive insurance plan with options to both health insurance and voluntary insurance policies like guaranteed-renewable life, cancer, accident, disability, and vision/dental insurance policies are a big differentiator for many startups competing against large companies. Smart CEOs know that employees who make a deeper financial investment in their employer benefits plan are less likely to leave for another position.

According to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, more than half of recruiters say that medical and dental coverage is ranked the #1 benefit for attracting talent. The report says employees expect medical and dental insurance, and 66 percent of recruiters say it’s the most important perk. Furthermore, employees indicate that better health benefits are a reason they would accept a job over another job.

While buzzword perks like free gym membership and pet-friendly office look great on your job descriptions, they aren’t ultimately the selling points that will get talent in the door for an interview. To stand out and make your company more attractive, you need to provide affordable group-rate insurance options to meet the personal security needs of professional who are seeking similar jobs with other companies locally and nationally.

By demonstrating that you care about your employees by providing them with a robust safety net of insurance benefits, you enhance the company’s reputation as a great place to work and the loyalty of your team.