Leaders know, recruitment and retention is more important—and more difficult—than ever. Between April and September 2021, more than 24 million American employees left their jobs, an all-time record. A Care.com survey of 500 HR leaders in December of 2021 confirmed what these Bureau of Labor Statistics data tell us: 78% of our respondents found employee recruitment and retention somewhat or much more challenging in the past year.
That explains why 63% of the 500 HR leaders we surveyed selected “attracting and retaining employees” as a key benefits strategy to support their business goals. Notably, the same percentage believe that increasing child and senior care benefits will help them do it.
Sizeable majorities report that care benefits help boost recruitment and retention, with 91% citing child care benefits and 86% reporting senior care benefits as having a positive impact. So too does mental health support, with 85% seeing it as an aid when seeking and keeping employees.
But demand for these types of benefits is still exceeding the number of employers actually providing them. A recent survey of 509 employed family caregivers by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers found that some of the benefits the workers found the most helpful are not offered by most employers. Among these, specialized caregiver services were among the most rarely offered and the most frequently used.
Caregiving Benefits: The Key to Employee Recruitment and Retention
Employers are starting to get the message. Fifty-nine percent of our respondents in this year’s survey indicated that they are hearing requests for childcare benefits, more than are actually offering them. That’s why 57% plan to start prioritizing childcare and 51% will prioritize senior care.
The perceived power of these benefits (along with mental health support) spans industries and worker classifications. Respondents trying to meet the needs of retail/front line, remote, and gig workers saw them as especially relevant, and planned to prioritize them more in 2022. But some of the employers for whom recruitment and retention is a key objective—particularly in the healthcare and government/non-profit sectors—have much more room to better align their benefits with that goal.
Why Your Company Should Offer Care Benefits
Not only do recruitment and retention gains correspond to those employers who offer caregiving benefits, but they generate another intriguing advantage: When these benefits are available, being caregivers also helps employees perform better in their jobs.
Offering caregiver benefits is a win/win proposition—boosting talent acquisition and retention for employers and both performance and peace of mind for employees. Learn more about what our research revealed about the impact of caregiving benefits in our report Recruit & Retain Top Talent with Employee Benefits.
To find out how employers perceive and plan to use benefit strategies to also support other business objectives, including increasing productivity and creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace—download the full Future of Benefits report.