What HR & Recruitment Teams Need to Know About Financial Wellness
March 16, 2021 by JBrennan
Image Credit - Unsplash
Financial wellness used to be thought of largely as an individual matter. That is, it was something for people to simply consider and address on their own, with respect to their own circumstances. Overtime; however, it’s become both a more prominent concern and a less private one. Financial wellness is now viewed as something that workplaces should even be specifically involved with — a must-have employee benefit, as one article last year put it.
Practically speaking, this means that HR and recruitment teams need to consider financial wellness when reaching out to and conducting discussions with employee candidates. And in the course of that effort, there are a few important things for people in this role to be aware of.
Health Benefits Must Be Discussed
The idea of using health benefits to recruit employees is one that’s been discussed here before, and it is very much part of the larger conversation about financial wellness. Particularly in younger generations, where many are accustomed to paying for their own health insurance as unemployed young adults or contracted workers, there’s a great deal of awareness about how much health benefits can impact finances. Candidates know to factor health plans into their potential employment packages alongside salary and other perks. Thus, HR and recruitment teams need to be knowledgeable and open about health plans. Communicating specifics in this area helps the candidate to trust that the company is prioritizing his or her financial wellness, beyond simply offering a salary.
Candidates Are Likely Concerned About Loans
It is also extremely important for HR and recruitment teams to bear in mind that candidates today are likely to be very concerned about student loans. Student loan debt was statistically confirmed to be millennials’ top financial concern a few years ago, and little has changed on this front since then. Young adults are still leaving college and graduate school with heaps of debt on their shoulders, and they are often more worried about paying it off than just about anything else in their lives. A strategic and well-meaning recruitment effort will speak to these concerns, not just by acknowledging them, but by including information about how company resources can be used to help new employees establish loan repayment plans.
What those resources look like will vary from one company to the next, of course. In some cases, they might amount to advice or recommendations about repayment strategies. In others, they may include access to financial advisors who can assist with the matter. Or in some simple instances, a company might simply provide a packet of information about specific repayment options, debt consolidation strategies, and so on. Regardless of the specifics though, candidates will appreciate the focus on financial wellness.
Candidates Are Also Concerned with Savings
General savings aren’t as much of a priority as debt repayment for most young adults. However, young generations that have grown up in times of economic instability and market crashes do understand the need to maximize their earnings and establish financial security. Accordingly, HR and recruitment teams can make a favorable impression by discussing any ways in which the company can help new employees to work on savings plans.
More so than with debt payment, this sort of outreach can focus on specifics. A company can compile information on different long-term savings accounts recommended for the appropriate age and income level at hand. A recruitment team can explain the benefits of contracts for difference as well — a CD essentially being a more structured but also more growth-oriented savings option. In some cases, a company may even be able to provide prospective recruits with appropriate investment plans put together by in-house financial advisors (perhaps recommending specific index funds or directing employees to a particular trusted broker). These types of recommendations should not be framed as absolute solutions, but discussing savings and investment options can certainly give a candidate the feeling that his or her financial wellness is being considered.
An Emphasis on Tech Will Be Appreciated
Lastly, HR and recruitment teams should know to talk about tech! Job candidates from those younger generations in particular have a great deal of trust in the power of technology, and if any tech-driven financial resources can be made available, they should be discussed during the recruitment process.
Today, businesses that are implementing financial wellness programs are in some cases offering data analytics practices that can assess employees’ financial performance. This is not meant to be any kind of invasion of privacy but is rather a means of using data to help employees make the right decisions with regard to payments, savings, and investments.
Years ago, all of these efforts might have seemed unorthodox within the recruiting process. With so much more awareness and concern regarding financial wellness though, it has become essential for companies to address the matter head-on. Keeping the above points in mind, and strategizing accordingly, will help HR and recruitment teams to make strong pitches, and ultimately attract the best candidates.