In the United States, benefits are often a hot topic. Staffing firm owners have been concerned about rising costs, particularly those associated with healthcare insurance. At the same time, they’re also keenly aware that a great employee benefits package can help them attract and retain top talent in their field.
Employees are also concerned about the benefits they’re provided. Most of the Millennial workforce indicates that benefits are a key factor in their decision-making. If the choice is between your firm and another, benefits could make or break the deal.
Running a staffing agency means keeping up with changing legislation and trends. If your agency is servicing clients in the US, you should know what’s on the horizon. What will happen with US employee benefits packages in 2019? Here are a few predictions for the emerging trends in the new year.
1. Employers Improve Benefits Packages
In recent years, the trend has been for employers to reduce or even eliminate benefits. Restructuring has also been common, as employers have tried to curb the costs associated with offering benefits.
Heading into 2019, however, the picture is different. The big change has been the strong economy. With low unemployment becoming the new norm, employers have been faced with a candidates’ market. Talent is becoming scarce, and job seekers are in the driver’s seat.
In this environment, it becomes imperative for employers to have better offerings than their competitors. If you want to attract the best talent, you’re going to need to offer them more than just a competitive salary.
For this reason, you can expect to see US employers offering better and more robust benefits plans.
2. Direct Contracts Become the New Norm
The importance of improving benefits plans doesn’t mean employers aren’t still worried about costs. This is particularly true for healthcare costs, which have risen exponentially over the last decade. Their upward trajectory is predicted to continue.
Employers know they need to offer better benefits, but they also need to be sure they’re keeping costs in check. One of the ways they’re doing this is by turning to direct contracts.
With a direct contract, employers can find better deals. A large care network often increases costs. It may even affect the quality of care provided.
3. Security Is on Your Mind
The tech backlash is continuing in 2019, and benefits administration is no exception to the rule. Employers and benefits administrators alike are more concerned about data security than ever before. Chances are your employees are also concerned about security.
Technology has allowed for many advances in benefits administration, such as increased personalization. For successful customization, however, benefits administrators need to collect more information about individual employees.
Keeping this data safe has become a top priority. The trend began in 2018, and you can expect to see increasing concerns about security factoring into almost every benefits decision made in 2019.
4. A Focus on Communication
Hand in hand with customization is a desire for more communication. Today’s employees are more independent than ever. It’s why they love employee benefits portals and personalization. These features put them in control of their benefits.
This trend is likely to continue strong through 2019. Employees want more tailored benefits packages that fit their needs, and they want more direct communication to get that customization. They don’t want to go through the middleman in HR.
5. Congress Creates Lingering Confusion
Since the end of 2016, the Affordable Care Act’s fate has been undecided. There have been several attempts at reform, and recent developments make it seem as though the Act could be altered or even repealed.
One thing is certain. Both parties are seeking reform, and employers will need to stay on their toes to keep up.
If you’re operating in the US market or plan to expand, keeping an eye on these US employee benefits trends is a smart idea.