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It's not just about pay anymore. To compete for skilled labor, you may need to be on the cutting edge of benefits offerings.

By  Julia Kramer

Employee benefits have become big business for both brokers and employers. It used to be that direct pay was the primary consideration for job seekers and a robust salary could attract and retain employees. Those days are gone. Also gone are the days when the ubiquitous health insurance plan and paid holidays benefits package put a goosebump on anyone’s flesh. What’s here, and probably here to stay, are new norms for benefits that make up an extensive list of job-seeker “must haves.”

The Society for Human Resources Management provides much-needed and extensive benefits trend information in its “2008 Employee Benefits—How Competitive Is Your Organization?” survey. This report is helpful when developing or revising your benefits program to more successfully attract and retain staff and keep up with (or better) the competition. Here’s a brief snapshot of the results.

Healthcare and Welfare Benefits

Benefit % Employers Who Offer

All Health Insurance Plans 97

Prescription Drugs 96

Dental Insurance 94

AD&D 81

Long-term Disability 78

Flexible Spending Accounts 69

Short-term Disability 69

Long-term Care 69

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Got a human resources problem you can?t resolve? Ask our HR guru Julia Kramer, SPHR, how to handle those sticky personnel issues everyone wants to avoid.