Planning on Hiring this Year . . . Will Your Benefit Package be Competitive?

​Patty Goodwin, Surveys

Last year, we asked employers what their staffing levels and hiring plans were for 2013. Thirty-three percent of Colorado employers said they will be creating and hiring for new positions; 53 percent said they will be hiring to fill current vacancies. That’s a lot of new employees that will be recruited!

What kind of benefits will give you the competitive edge when recruiting … and especially, how much paid time off will you be offering? Numerous articles have been written that talk about applicants looking for the work/life balance and enough paid time off to help reach that goal. In our 2012 Paid Time Off Policies Survey, we collected vacation and personal time off schedules.

Although still not a prevalent policy, each time we conduct this survey more employers will give a new hire one, two, or three weeks of vacation immediately upon hire. Only nine percent of Colorado organizations give three weeks immediately upon hire … but compare that to five years ago when it was only four percent; it is increasing! Ten percent of employers give two weeks of vacation immediately upon hire, and six percent give one week. Add it up and 25 percent of employers will give an employee vacation immediately upon hire with no need to accrue it.

So, on average, how many years do I need to be employed before receiving the maximum vacation? The graph below indicates 11 years on average.

What if you rehire a former employee … do you give them credit for previous service for their vacation eligi­bility? In the 2012 Paid Time Off Policies Survey, 27 percent of Colorado employers will give full service credit to a former employee if rehired within a designated length of time; 10 percent will give full credit immediately upon rehire; 30 percent do not give any service credit; and 20 percent do not have an established policy. These data have remained consistent over the past seven years.

Of course, there are always the health insurance benefits that are part of the package for a new hire. But that is best left for another article at another time!