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6 Benefits You Must Offer If You Want to Attract Talent

Anyone who has ever been tasked with hiring people knows that getting great candidates to come on board is easier said than done. And in today's relatively healthy job market, enticing strong applicants is tougher than ever, especially if you're a smaller shop with limited resources.

That said, convincing solid candidates to accept your job offer often boils down to offering the right set of workplace benefits on top of a decent salary. These are the benefits recruiters rank as most effective in attracting talent, according to data from Jobvite, a software and recruiting company.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. A solid medical and dental plan

Healthcare is a major expense and burden for workers of all ages, so much so that more than a quarter of Americans postpone medical treatment because they can't afford it. That's why it's crucial to offer a strong medical and dental plan -- ideally one whose premiums you heavily subsidize. So take a look at the plan options your employees have access to today, and see if there's room to do better. Offering a plan with lower deductibles and a wider range of coverage could work wonders when it comes to attracting new hires.

2. A good 401(k) plan

Not all 401(k) plans are created equal. If you want to entice prospective hires, you'll need to offer a plan that comes with a healthy mix of investment choices and relatively low fees. At the same time, you should be willing to match your employees' 401(k) contributions to a generous degree. After all, there's nothing more appealing than the words "free money" when you're looking to get someone to accept a job offer.

3. The option to work from home

The ability to work from home gives employees more flexibility with their time and schedules. It can also save them money on commuting costs. From an employer perspective, allowing workers to telecommute means giving them more freedom. But considering the traction this trend is gaining, you really can't afford not to give it a go. And remember: Letting employees work from home could save you money as well, especially if you're no longer required to maintain as large an office space.

4. A casual dress code

If your industry is one in which business attire is the norm, then by all means mandate that employees show up to work in collared shirts and suits. Otherwise, consider going easy on the dress code. This is really one of the most painless concessions you can make as an employer -- it won't cost you anything and it won't detract from your employees' productivity. If anything, you may find that being more comfortable on the job helps your employees get even more done.

5. Reimbursement for continuing education

As an employer, you want workers on your team who are eager and willing to learn. So why not take things one step further and help those employees cover the cost of additional education? By offering this benefit, you'll send the message that you're truly invested in helping your workers advance their careers -- and that's the sort of thing prospective hires will want to hear.

6. Signing bonuses

Though not all companies offer signing bonuses, they're certainly a good way to appeal to strong candidates and set yourself apart from the competition. Of course, the danger in offering signing bonuses is having applicants accept the offers tied to them, only to then jump ship a few months later. But if you structure those bonuses carefully, you won't have to worry about that happening. For example, you might include a clause in your bonus agreement stating that if new hires leave within a certain period of time (say, one year) following that bonus, they are required to repay all of it or a portion. That gives you the protection you need and the hires you want.

Attracting talent these days isn't easy. Offer these key benefits, and you'll improve your chances of having the job offers you present accepted.

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