What employee benefits must you provide and what should you offer to be competitive?

Haleigh Tebben / March, 2018


Haleigh Tebben, Partner at Mercer shares what health and benefits are table-stakes for an employer to provide as well as what can be added to the benefits package to make your competitive.

Video transcript:

What employee benefits must you provide and what should you offer to be competitive?

Typically, we will see startups that will not approach it through a strategic lense, but as a startup, you definitely have unique people needs. So you need to focus on thinking about the future. You want to think about innovative game-changing solutions that are out in the marketplace. Think about how you could also have a partner that can help you in making sure that you have the deep expertise and knowledge needed to execute on your strategy.

At Mercer, we think it’s very important to ensure that we understand the needs of our clients so the most important thing to do is not to hire somebody that will bring for the cookie-cutter approach because you have so many different needs. You got a different kind of population, a different kind of employee base and you want to make sure that what you are offering them is meeting their needs but also making sure that you have the ability to use game-changing innovative tools in the marketplace and make sure that you are approaching it from a long-term strategic lens.

Obviously, there are just certain things that are table stakes when you think about health and benefits world. So things like health care coverage, medical coverage, dental, vision, accidental death coverage, life coverage, short and long-term disability coverage, those are all table-stakes. Beyond that, there is a lot of new and innovative solutions that are coming to light and are being considered by startups to create a more competitive talent philosophy.

Things like mental health, so as we think about people in the valley, think about the types of employees that are being hired to these stressful jobs, mental health is a very important area to pay attention to. A lot of the organizations are starting to think about what are the mental health solutions that we can provide.

Parental leave, maternity, paternity, and fertility those are some other areas that we are seeing our clients pay attention to; what’s up and coming on the market, and what are things that they want to make sure they are able to offer to their employee base.

Key is to make sure you have a partner that has the expertise that can help you benchmark and understand what is being offered. Make sure that you have a competitive benefits package as you evolve your offering for your employee population.

One area where employers can also offer additional benefits that don’t require a lot of costs out of their pocket is volunteer benefits. These are frequently 100% employee paid things like auto, home, pet insurance, is a very popular benefit that is being offered. These are the type of benefits that you can offer to your employee population to be competitive and to be personalized for their needs but won’t cost the employer a lot out of pocket.

This is where it is really key to leverage benchmarking and to think about a multi-year strategy so as your firm or organization is evolving, and it hit certain milestones in your plan of growth to make sure that you have a multi-year health and benefit strategy, to ensure that you are modifying revolving your offerings as your organization is hitting those major milestones.

It really is key to ensure that you are offering choice to your employees. It is very important that people feel like they have a personalized approach to their health and benefits packages, so choice is very important. Things like even offering a health savings account with a high deductible health plan, is not only a way to save money for the firm but also a way to make sure that your employees are getting choice, and you are able to hopefully capitalize on some consumerism and some of those high deductible health plan benefits that you get by offering those plans.



  • Haleigh Tebben, Mercer
  • March, 2018
  • 3:40
  • Team, HR & Admin

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