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Job Exodus Continues: Ways to Effectively Retain and Hire Talent



Last year, almost 48 million Americans quit their jobs. This trend has continued in 2022, with more than 4 million workers leaving their jobs each month on average. A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted in February 2022 revealed that 63% of those who quit their job cited low pay as the main reason. Forty-three percent (43%) cited not having good benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off, as a reason for quitting.

Faced with various financial issues, such as rising healthcare costs, student debt, and uncertainty around retirement, employees tend to focus more on stability and financial wellness. And, as inflation continues to surge, their take-home pay and buying power are shrinking.

So now more than ever, existing employees and new hires have the desire and the leverage to demand better benefits. Hiring and retaining talent has become a real challenge for most employers due to the high demand and fierce competition with offers of higher pay, more advancement opportunities, and enhanced benefits to attract great talent.


Salary Adjustments


A primary factor fueling this great job exodus is salary adjustments to bridge the gap between what the employer can do for the employee and what the employee needs to be successful and financially well. The Willis Towers Watson’s (WTW’s) 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey polled 9,658 employees from large and mid-size private employers across various industries in December 2021 and January 2022. Of those surveyed, 44% of employees are job seekers, and of those, 33% are active job hunters. Fifty-six percent said pay was the top reason they’d look for a different employer, and 41% said they would leave for a 5% increase in pay.


Leveraging Retirement Plans


Enriching retirement benefits is another incentive employers can offer to help retain good talent. For example, instead of matching 401(k) employee contributions, some companies now offer to contribute 6%-8% of their employees’ salary and bonuses without a match by the employee. In addition, profit-sharing plans allow companies to share the profits in the business by making discretionary tax-deductible contributions for their employees with the flexibility of different classifications of employees, which can provide a more significant benefit for older and highly compensated team members. Finally, a cash balance plan is an employer-funded plan that combines the high contribution limits of a defined benefit plan with the flexibility and portability of a 401(k) plan. Under this plan, business owners and executives can contribute up to $245,000 in 2022.


Health Care Insurance Benefits


A 2021 Mercer Health on Demand Survey found that employer support has a direct impact on the health and resilience of employees. The survey asked fourteen thousand (14,000) employees worldwide and 2,000 in the United States what they wanted regarding their health and well-being. Of those surveyed, fifty-five percent (55%) indicated they highly or extremely valued their employer’s ability to customize a package of benefits that meet their individual needs. Employers who support the overall well-being of all employees by providing affordable healthcare insurance to all who need it are providing a quantifiable incentive to retain existing employees and lure new hires.

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