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Employee Benefits Close the Deal for Top Talent Recruits

Amelia Wilcox
June 24, 2021
October 9, 2022

Great benefits packages don't just take care of employees. Employee benefits can improve the company itself—by way of recruiting top talent.  

What are Employee Benefits?

Employee benefits are additional cash or non-cash compensation provided to employees in addition to their salary or wages.

Some employee benefits—like the payment of Social Security, unemployment, and Medicare by the employer—are required by law.

Here are some popular employee benefits:

  • Healthcare
  • PTO
  • Flexible work hours and remote work
  • Wellness benefits
  • 401k

Benefits are a Key Factor in Recruiting Top Talent

Benefits are more important than salary for many people.

62% of employees are willing to take a lower salary in exchange for better benefits, according to a recent study by Staples.

About 4 in 5 employees would rather get additional benefits than a raise.

Healthcare continues to be the most important benefit across the board. PTO, leave, and flexible work arrangements are the in the most demand behind insurance benefits.

Since 2020, the demand for employee mental health and wellness programs has skyrocketed, with the vast majority of companies now budgeting for wellness programs. And for a good reason—Millennials and Gen Zers are demanding employee mental health programs and an open mental health dialogue at work.

Benefits are a key factor in retention as well. Keeping your top players happy is a key to retention and creating great company culture. Mental health programs are especially great for transforming company cultures and recruiting top talent.

Related: The New Top Workplace Perk – Workforce Wellness Programs

We recommend asking your employees which benefits they want. Every company is different. You may be surprised by the feedback!  

The 4 Best Employee Benefits

In general, married people and those with children were more likely to prefer better benefits to higher pay. They especially value perks like flexible hours and the option to work from home.

Single people and people who don't have kids were less likely to accept a lower salary to exchange for better benefits.

Women prefer benefits over raises more than men.

Overall, here are the best employee benefits we'd recommend for any team:

1. Mental Health and Wellness Programs

We're biased on this one, but the stats back it up. Most employees never seek the mental health support they need. Considering that 1 in 5 employees has a diagnosable mental illness, this is unacceptable.

Employees want confidential, easy access to therapy. It can be difficult to find a counselor and paying for one can also be a challenge. You'll be doing your people a huge favor by making the process easy for them.

Employee mental health programs like Nivati make supporting employees super easy. All you have to do is sign up!

2. Mandatory PTO + Mental Health Days

Most employees don't take all of their time off. The average American worker gets 23.2 days of PTO per year—but most people only use half of them.

Taking PTO helps lower stress, presenteeism, and absenteeism. Normalize taking "mental health days."

3. Flexible Work Arrangements

Remote work isn't going away. People don't want to be confined to an office or the 9-5 anymore! 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time. Without the typical office distractions, employees tend to get more work done.

4. Recognition Programs

This one is great for company culture as well! Programs like Bonusly are a fun way to give shoutouts, give positive feedback, and even give gift cards. Recognition programs can help boost employee engagement and increase retention.

These benefits will help attract top talent, improve retention, and improve company culture.

The 3 Best Employee Benefits for Generation Z and Millennials

Generation Z—people born between 1997 to about 2012—has just started graduating from college and entering the workforce. Gen Z and Millennials have similar requests when it comes to benefits. Here are some of their most highly requested benefits for these age groups.

1. Financial Assistance

Millions of people are struggling with massive amounts of student loan debt. Yet only 8% of employers in 2019 offered student loan repayment assistance.

Offer financial coaching and loan repayment services to help your people pay off their debt. More than half of people say that finances are the number one stressor in their lives; there is a need for financial education, and you can help fulfill that need.

2. Growth Opportunities

Gen Zers are go-getters. They want to learn and grow quickly. Please give them the tools they need to do so by providing access to mentors and coaches. Provide opportunities for career advancement. Millennials and Gen Z have a strong desire to help others grow as well. They want opportunities to manage others as they advance and help serve those in the community while they work.

3. Mental Health and Wellness Programs

Generally, the younger the generation, the higher the prevalence of mental health diagnoses. About 27% of Generation Z report fair to poor mental health, compares to 15% for Millennials.

Younger generations want to go to therapy. 37% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials have sought help from a mental health professional.

Yet, about half of people never seek the mental health care they need due to barriers to care. Things like the cost of therapy, transportation issues, time constraints, and some of the lingering effects of the mental health stigma.

Employers can stand out to top talent, build stronger cultures, and help make a positive difference for their employees by providing mental health services.

We are the ultimate workforce wellness platform.

We have a quick turnaround – we can get all your employees set up with us in 48 hours. It only takes minutes to set an appointment with a therapist or any Nivati practitioner. Our utilization rates are the highest in the industry.

We make mental health support easy – for employees and employers alike.

See how Nivati can help support your employees and increase retention. Request a demo today!

Stop stacking benefits. Start being well. Set a Nivati demo


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.