Four employee benefits to help you attract and retain top talent

Updated September 13, 2021 - 3:58 pm

As businesses seek to bounce back from the pandemic, many employers are expecting an increase in demand and activity. With that comes the need to retain workers and expand their workforce. While millions of Americans have been out of work because of the pandemic, rehiring workers after all the disruption may be more complex than before. The unsettled labor market has affected industries differently, leading to an influx of candidates in some sectors and labor shortages in others.

Workplace benefits have always been a crucial part of an employee’s compensation. Now, more than ever, offering the right mix of benefits could be the game changer that sways applicants to choose your company over others. A robust employee benefits package that includes dental, vision, life and disability insurance can set an organization apart from the competition. These ancillary or supplemental benefits are highly sought after by job seekers.


Naturally, the pandemic is driving a renewed focus on health, wellness and disease prevention. Given the connection between dental hygiene and a variety of maladies, the role oral health plays in overall health shouldn’t be overlooked. This may be a reason why employees see the value in a dental plan that covers routine exams and preventive care. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, after health insurance and a retirement plan, dental and vision insurance are the next most valued benefits. And dental coverage is popular with job seekers, too. In fact, 54% of candidates would give access to a benefits package with dental insurance “heavy consideration” when choosing between two jobs.


The shift to a remote work environment and the continuous use of digital screens has placed new emphasis on vision health. Combined with the fact that 194 million Americans use some type of vision correction, it makes sense that 88% of job seekers view vision insurance as a valuable addition to an overall benefits package. Employer-sponsored vision insurance may help remove barriers to quality vision care, including exams and corrective eyewear.


Group life insurance is valuable coverage that helps protect what many employees cherish most –their loved ones. So, it’s no surprise that in 2020, 98% of workers who had access to life insurance through their employer participated in their company’s plan. LIMRA research shows that employees feel life insurance is important or very important and rated it among the top five benefits. Furthermore, the pandemic has created a heightened need for life insurance among Americans, so offering this peace-of-mind coverage may be a real influencer when it comes to choosing one employer over another.


According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the stress associated with Covid-19 has exacerbated the severity and number of instances of anxiety and depression. During the pandemic about 4 in 10 U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, compared to one in 10 in 2019. And for some, these mental health issues may lead to work leaves of absence. Without some form of income protection, many employees would face financial difficulty if they had to miss work due to a short-or long-term medical absence. While health insurance may pay for some medical expenses, disability coverage (often called paycheck protection) helps to cover lost wages should employees be unable to work.


Another attractive aspect of ancillary benefits is that some or all of them can be offered on a voluntary basis, where employees pay part or all the premiums. This allows employers to demonstrate that they value their employees without incurring a heavy financial burden. Overall, the cost of offering ancillary benefits is often minimal compared to the positive impact they can have on employee morale and overall well-being.

As employers shore up their teams and plan for the future, they are seeking ways to attract and retain top talent. Offering highly sought-after ancillary benefits like dental, vision, life and disability insurance can be an important way for employers to differentiate themselves.

To discover more about the advantages of adding dental, vision, life and disability coverage to your employee benefits mix and to download free resources, visit

Underwritten by Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America, Indianapolis, Indiana, and in New York by Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of New York, Binghamton, New York. Both companies may be reached at PO Box 1596, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206. Products may not be available in all states and jurisdictions.

John Feeney is vice president of group sales and market development for the Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America. With more than 30 years of sales and training experience, Feeney has a robust background in marketing employee benefits for organizations of all sizes.

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