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February 07, 2001
Benefits Information is Secret to Recruitment and Retention
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> OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. --Record low unemployment means that employees in every organization are looking for better deals with the company next door, down the street, or even across the country.

But according to a new study, the 2001 Survey of Employee Benefits from Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR), it is not always a better compensation package that will push them towards greener pastures.

Bruce Plent, J.D. and legal editor at BLR says that, "In addition to an attractive and reasonable compensation program, employees now want benefits to match. And the only way for employers to be sure those benefits are competitive is to have accurate and up-to-date information to make sure they measure up to their competitors."

Benefit Packages: What employees want

Savvy employers need to understand that some benefits are more important to employees than others. Flextime, sign-on bonuses, and defined benefit pension plans are key benefits for many Gen X and Y employees. For example, the results show that:

  • Flextime. 37% of employers in the South offer flextime to exempt employees, compared to 29% nationally.

  • Sign on bonuses. 43% of employers in the Far West regions of the country offer sign on bonuses of $10,000 or more, compared with 21% of the employers in the Southwest, and 25% in the East.

  • Pensions 77% of employers in the Northeast offer an employee funded Defined Benefit Pension Plan to exempt employees, compared to only 52% in the Southwest.

"The point is that the whole "package" must be attractive to encourage employees to stay and to attract new talent", says Plent. "The package should include sick leave, holidays, personal leave, bereavement, time off for jury duty, bonuses, travel expenses, health insurance, long and short form disability, shift work differentials, flexible schedules, pensions, and dress codes to name a few."

BLR publishes the Employee Benefits Survey yearly. Results of the survey are reported nationally, regionally, by size of employer, by public vs. private sector, by exempt and non-exempt, and by type of employer. Visit BLR's Web site at or call them at 1-800-727-5257 for a free 30-day trial of any product. For a free synopsis of the survey, contact Bruce Plent at


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