4 Things to Consider Before Cutting Your Benefits Package

4 Things to Consider Before Cutting Benefits

In a candidate-driven market, benefits are vital to attract candidates as well as to retain employees long-term. According to a December 2015 Harris poll for Glassdoor, 57 percent of job candidates report benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job. Benefits are a key component of your employer brand, and because of this, companies need to invest significant time and effort into maintaining drool-worthy benefits programs.

From nap pods to fully-stocked micro kitchens, companies are frequently leveraging their benefits and perks to attract top talent. A company’s full package of benefits strengthens its employer brand even among the employees who don’t take advantage of them. Each benefit sends a particular message about your company’s culture. So, what types of benefits do candidates really care about?

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Back to basics

Glassdoor Economic Research conducted a study on the correlation of overall satisfaction with benefit packages, and found the top five core benefits candidates value most to be health insurance, vacation and paid time off, pension plans, 401k plans, and retirement plans.

Before adding additional perks or benefits, it’s important to make sure that these five basic areas are well-structured. The economic research study found that the core benefits of health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans mattered more to employees than did specific benefits like maternity/paternity leave, dependent care, stock options, and free food.


Any changes to your benefits package will affect both the candidate and employee perception of your company. Thus, it’s important to always consider the potential implications of any modification or upgrade to your benefits package. Our research found that health insurance, paid leave, and retirement plans are of the utmost importance to employees and candidates. Employees will be the most vocal about cuts to these programs.

Before making cuts to your benefits package, it’s important to take the following steps:

1. Research your industry.

Knowing how your benefits program stands against those of other companies can help you stand out, particularly if you offer a better benefits than talent competitors. We found that the finance, information technology, and manufacturing industries had the highest-rated benefits whereas the business services, retail, and food services industries had the lowest-rated benefits. Proactively study your competitor’s benefits, including how employees reacted to certain changes or modifications.

2. Check your reviews on Glassdoor!

When evaluating your benefits package, research competitor benefits packages as well as their benefit reviews on Glassdoor. Take note of sentiment about benefits in overall reviews and benefit review sections.

3. Conduct internal research.

As mentioned before, employers must carefully evaluate how its benefits program impacts its ability to attract and retain talent. Conduct an internal survey and/or focus groups to determine how cuts may received. Additionally, conduct a financial analysis of cuts and compare against publicly known metrics like CEO salary and executive bonuses

4. Consider what free/low costs perks you can offer to offset cuts.

When slashing benefits, consider offering candidates other perks such as wellness programs, volunteer time off, and financial education. These free perks cost you nothing but can seriously boost morale.