How to Create a Competitive Compensation and Benefits Package

© 2024 Neeljym Search Group® All Rights Reserved

Read the original article at How To Create A Compensation And Benefits Package (

Attracting and retaining top talent requires more than just a competitive salary. To stand out, you need to strategically design a compensation and benefits package for each individual candidate. In this article, we will guide you through the key components of creating a competitive benefits package to prevent you from becoming stale.

1. Understanding What Matters Most

It’s essential to understand what matters most to candidates. While recent studies ([Source: SHRM Salary Survey]) confirm competitive salary remains king, comprehensive benefits and a positive work-life balance are also increasingly valued.

1.1 Understand Your Workforce: The first step is understanding your workforce demographics and their needs. Millennials and Gen Z, for example, may prioritize student loan repayment assistance or mental health benefits, while older employees might value robust retirement plans [5].

Conduct surveys or make it a practice to ask staff what matters most to them during annual reviews. This can reveal not only what benefits are most important to your staff but also any gaps you may currently have.

1.2 Research Competitors: To make sure you are not getting stale, you also want to research benefits packages offered by your competitors. This will help you identify industry standards and potential areas for you to shine.

Once you understand your workforce, you can start building a comprehensive benefits program.

2. Salary

Money is ultimately why people come to you for employment. Being competitive not only allows you to attract the best talent, but it will also make them stay. A good start is by conducting some market research using salary benchmarking tools or reputable surveys specific to your industry and location. (Pay attention to the date of the salary data you are intending to use. Salary data can become outdated quickly, so it is important to find data that is as recent as possible.) Consider the location, education, and experience level required for the job. These factors can all have a big impact on salary.

2.1 Salary Research Sources

SHRM Salary Surveys: Leverage the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual salary surveys ( to get a clear picture of national and regional salary benchmarks for your target positions.

Industry Associations: Many industry associations publish salary data specific to their field. Look for reports from organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for manufacturing or the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) for engineering.

Neeljym Search Group shares the monthly Employment Situation Report from the US Department of Labor. It shows trends and important statistics which affect salaries. Go to and search for Employment Situation Report or subscribe to our newsletter

Job Search Websites: Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and allow you to search for specific positions and see the salary range listed.

Professional recruiters in your industry are a go-to resource. Partnering with these experts gives you first row access. They know what factors into a competitive salary for your company.

3. General Benefits

  • Healthcare: One of the most important benefits is healthcare. Offering an amazing healthcare package will drive talent right to your door. Offer a low rate, low deductible, and copay plan with a well known insurance carrier with a large network of care providers.
  • Wellness Spending Accounts (WSAs): Help employees cover a variety of health and wellness expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Wellness Programs and Mental Health Resources: Prioritizing employee well-being with programs that promote both mental and physical health can lead to a healthier, happier workforce. This translates to increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and improved employee retention.
  • Work-Life Balance: The concept of work-life balance is evolving. Traditionally, it focused on a strict division between work and personal life. It is shifting towards work-life fit. Overall, the trend is clear: workplaces that prioritize flexibility and well-being are winning the race for top talent. Here are two examples of benefits that offer work-life fit: A) Flexible Work Arrangements—Remote work, compressed workweeks, and flextime are becoming increasingly popular. They allow employees to manage their personal lives. It’s a strategic advantage that boosts morale and reduces absenteeism. By offering flexibility, you’re creating an environment that empowers employees. B) Generous PTO—Paid time off is no longer seen as a bonus, but a necessity for attracting and retaining talent. Employees value time for vacations, hobbies, and family.
  • Retirement Plans with Employer Matching Contributions

4. Lesser-Offered Benefits That Can Make a Big Difference

  • Wellness Benefits: On-site fitness classes, gym memberships, or healthy meal delivery services can promote employee well-being.
  • Parental Leave Beyond Standard Minimums or Childcare Assistance: A game-changer for working parents.
  • Parental Support: Consider offering childcare subsidies, backup childcare options, or lactation rooms to support working parents.
  • Pet Insurance: A welcome benefit for a growing number of employees.
  • Travel Insurance: If your business involves frequent travel, travel insurance can provide peace of mind for your employees.
  • Financial Wellness Programs: Demonstrate your commitment to employees’ financial well-being.
  • Discounted Legal Services: Ease stress and financial burdens for employees facing personal legal issues.
  • Volunteer Time Off: Allow employees to give back while still being compensated.
  • Tuition reimbursement, Certifications or Continuing Education Opportunities or Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

5. The Power of Choice and Flexibility

A one-size-fits-all approach always falls short. Empowering employees to customize their benefits packages to their individual needs can greatly enhance their value. Consider offering a variety of plan options within each benefit category, allowing for flexibility and personalization.

6. Staying Competitive: Continuous Improvement

The job market is constantly evolving, so your benefits package should too. Regularly gather employee feedback through surveys and focus groups to ensure your offerings remain relevant and competitive. Stay up to date on industry trends and best practices in employee benefits to stay ahead of your competition.


By prioritizing your employees’ needs, you can create a compelling benefits package that positions your company as a top employer. A competitive benefits program is an investment in your most valuable asset—your people. It will allow you to attract high caliber talent and can lead to a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce, ultimately contributing to your company’s success.

© 2024 Neeljym Search Group® All Rights Reserved

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