With the unemployment rate in the North Bay under 3%, it can safely be said that we are in an employee’s market, and the pain is being felt by companies in all industries. One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How do we retain our current employees and attract the ones we need?” Benefit consulting firms can provide solutions to address this issue.

Here is a look at 5 ways that you can keep the employees you have, and attract more in a tight labor market.

1. Focus and Invest in Your Organization’s Culture: First and foremost, as an employer, you need to focus on your organization’s culture. What is it at present, and what is your vision for it? 78% of the millennials, surveyed locally, answered that the corporate culture of an employer is more important than benefits and compensation. If an employee does not like where they work, they will leave, and if a prospective employee hears or reads negative things about a company, they will not seek employment there.

2. Professional Development: When it comes to retaining employees, employers must provide continuous on-the-job development. According to Deloitte, 73% of employees who plan to stick with their employers more than 5 years, say that their organizations diligently provide education and training. This makes perfect sense on more than one level. After all, employees are an investment in the future, and are the reason behind the growth of any company – small or medium-sized, and when employers invest in those employees, it makes them feel valued and respected rather than expendable. When your employees are strong and smart, it reflects on your business as well.

3. Flexibility: Traditional 9-to-5 employers are not only competing with other traditional employers, but with the “gig economy” as well. This is where individuals are able to work where and when they want. It is essential for committed and healthy employees to have balance between home-life and work-life. When you recognize that employees have priorities and responsibilities outside of work, you allow them to find the perfect balance that works for not just the employee, but also the company, and support them in being more productive as well as fully present when they are at work. This also reduces surprise “sick days,” and creates a more reliable workforce with lesser stress. Working with your employees to strike a balance that works for everyone is well worth it.

4. Competitive Compensation: While culture plays a critical role in attracting and retaining employees, you must be competitive in payments you make to employees. Have you read compensation studies (quite a few staffing agencies have them), do you know how much your competitors are paying their employees, and are you being realistic about the cost of living in the area of your business? It is, after all, an employee’s market, and it may cost you more in the long run, if you do not pay desired remuneration to deserving employees.

5. Competitive and Creative Offering of Benefits: Most employees nowadays expect medical benefits, also covering dental and vision care. So how do you differentiate yourself as an employer? If you do not think outside the box, the only way that you can be different (possibly) is through plan contribution and funding strategies. Over the years, there have been clients of benefit consulting firms that offer benefits that go beyond what is considered traditional. These include gym memberships, tickets to events, and company-sponsored lunches to name a few.

If you are looking for effective ways to attract and retain employees in your organization, you should seek the help of one of the best benefit consulting firms in California – Arrow Benefits Group. For more information, visit arrowbenefitsgroup.com or call today.