In markets around the world, companies are in the midst of a war for talent. In some places, including the UAE and South Africa, that’s down to a serious skills shortage. In others, it’s simply down to companies fighting for an edge on their competitors.
In a bid to attract that talent, companies have loaded up their employee benefits packages. Free meals, on-site gyms, and paid sabbaticals are just some of the things people can look forward to if they land a job at the right company.
Those are all very exciting, but one factor that’s becoming increasingly important in attracting top talent is a good financial wellness programme.
The future matters
Despite what thinkpiece after thinkpiece would have you believe, the average worker still cares very deeply about their future financial wellbeing.
While companies have a long history of helping employees out with retirement benefits, there is plenty of scope to do more.
After all, depending on when you hire someone, they might be saving to buy a house, send a child to school, or to further their studies.
If your company can help a prospective employee save for those big life events, they’re much more likely to choose it over one that can’t.
So does the present
Of course, many people in the job market have financial worries that they have to deal with right now. Student loans, car payments, rising rental costs, and even a lack of emergency funds can be a major source of stress.
Not only can those stressors impact on a worker’s mental and physical wellbeing, they can also result in that worker having to take time off to deal with the issue itself.
Factor in the potential for market volatility (a 2016 PwC survey found that 45% of US workers were
more worried about personal finance than they had been in the previous 12 months) and it’s pretty easy to see why someone would be attracted to a company that can help them alleviate those worries.
It’s important to note that we’re not suggesting your company start luring in employees by offering to take on their loan debt or pay for their car (although, if you can afford it, why not?). Even the offer of financial coaching can go a long way to swaying a potential hire who currently struggles to make it through the month.
Workers know their limits
While the reasons we’ve given above go a long way to explaining why financial wellness programmes can be a great recruiting tool, there is another very important factor at play: most people simply don’t understand their finances.
And why would they? How big a role did concepts like compound interest and index funds play in your education? Unless you studied finance, we’d be willing to bet the answer is “very little”.
Sure, you might get the odd architect or account director who nurses a side passion for finances, but for the most part their expertise will lie in the field they work in.
That said, there are cases where financial literacy is alarmingly low. According to The Atlantic, the vast majority of people around the globe couldn’t pass a simple financial quiz.
While people might be ignorant when it comes to the specifics of finances, they’re all too aware of how damaging this ignorance can be.
Offer them the chance to learn the skills they need to manage their own finances and you’ve given them a reason to work for your company that beats an in-house games arcade hands down.
Has your company found its financial wellness programme useful when it comes to recruitment? Let us know in the comments section below.