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Employee benefits continue to be an afterthought during recruitment process (GRiD research)

Press release 5 January 2021.

Employee benefits can be an incredibly effective recruitment tool but all too often they are only communicated by employers during the onboarding process after an offer has been accepted, according to research* conducted by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.

Just 22% of organisations promote employee benefits prior to recruitment i.e. in job advertisements, and only a quarter (25%) include any mention of employee benefits before day one of employment e.g. in an offer letter.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD) said: “It is completely nonsensical that most employers fail to promote their employee benefits as part of the recruitment process. Benefits already in place within the organisation will be utilised by existing staff, and ostensibly communicated to new recruits should they sign on the dotted line, so it really is a missed opportunity not to make the most of them to attract the best possible talent.”

Benefits as important as salary

Employers would be wise to use existing benefits to appeal to job seekers, as GRiD’s research shows how valued they are.

  • 29% of employers think that ‘benefits are as important as salary’ in helping to recruit and retain employees and 33% believe potential staff are as interested in the wider benefits as they are in the salary’.
  • This is backed up by employees themselves, with 32% saying that employee benefits are as equally important to them as salary.

Not only is this a missed opportunity in terms of recruitment but it’s also a missed opportunity to embed the value of employee benefits in the mind’s eye of staff. For benefits to be fully appreciated by a new member of staff, the conversation has to start early and the communication needs to be clear. However, if benefits are presented as an afterthought or secondary to pay, they lose some of their perceived value.

Katharine Moxham continued: “2020 has undoubtedly taught us to value our health and so there needs to be a greater awareness amongst employers about what their next recruits will be looking for in a new role. Financial security will always be important but it’s likely we’ll see that being balanced against other factors, such as whether a potential employer looks after the wider health and wellbeing of staff.

“An obvious way to demonstrate this is to promote benefits, such as employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness. Not only do these products provide financial support but most of these benefits now also include a wide range of embedded support that can be accessed by staff in times of physical and mental ill-health and often as a preventative measure too. These are some of the most valued benefits, and if potential recruits know about them in advance, it can be a deciding factor to join a company.”

Employees’ right to a statement of particulars on their first day

Just 38% of employers communicate employee benefits in a welcome pack, which is an increase from 31% in 2019. However, new legislation** was introduced 6 April 2020 requiring employers to inform new employees about their employment and benefits on day one or on request for existing employees, and all organisations need meet this obligation, so communicating them as part of the recruitment process is a natural progression.

Katharine Moxham concluded: “Whether recruiting for entry-level positions or headhunting for senior management, employers need to respond to the post-pandemic situation and ensure that their benefits package is at the heart of any recruitment strategy, as support for health and wellbeing is only going to become more important to employees.

“At the earliest possible stage of recruitment, employers need to demonstrate that they are not simply meeting their duty of care with regards to supporting employee health and wellbeing but that it’s at the core of their culture. Employers who don’t make this adjustment risk their ability to recruit the best people.”

  • Ends –

* Research undertaken during January 2020 by Opinium on behalf of GRiD amongst 500 HR decision makers and 1,165 UK employees.

** The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378)

How does your company communicate the employee benefits that you offer?




Base Size: All employer participants



In staff welcome pack



In a staff handbook



Before day one of employment i.e. in an offer letter



Via email



Before recruitment e.g. in job advertisements



On our staff noticeboard



Via our company intranet



Via Total Reward Statements



Via employee benefit  fairs



Via benefit platform(s) and/or Apps



Via post to my home address



We don’t communicate any employee benefits



How important are the health and wellbeing employee benefits that your company offers in helping recruit and retain employees? 



Base Size: All employer participants


Our benefits are as important as salary


Potential staff are as interested in the wider benefits as they are in the salary


They’re a nice-to-have, but not as important as salary


They’re not important at all


In terms of choosing which company to work for, how important are employee benefits a company offers which support your financial, physical, social and mental wellbeing?



Base Size: All employers workers


The employee benefits are as important to me as salary


The employee benefits are a nice-to-have, but not as important to me as salary


The employee benefits are not important to me at all



For further information please contact:

Sharon Mason 
SMUK Marketing and PR 
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350

Katharine Moxham
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508

Notes for editors

About GRiD

Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (senior consultant, Howden Insurance Brokers) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.

GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.

GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.

Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham










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