The U.S. is in a period ofhistorically low unemployment, which provides anatural lift to brokerages. As employers grow the number ofemployees they have, broker commission amounts also rise.

|

And there are steps brokers can take to drive additional growthbeyond what's naturally created by a robust employment rate. Inparticular, helping employer clients expand benefits in the contextof recruiting and retaining talent in the middle of a red-hoteconomic environment can present a valuable strategy for brokerslooking to create agency growth.

|

Focus on recruitment andretention

When prospecting, brokers naturally tend to focus on solvingproblems and cost pressures within the health plan. While thisisn't going to change, brokers may also want to begin askingclients and prospects if they have challenges with recruitment and retention.

|

Why? With the unemployment rate so low, the answer is probablyyes. Most organizations of every size have recruitment on thebrain, and many are struggling to fill open positions.

|

Brokers have an opportunity to add value in this area by usingbenefits to help small- and mid-sized employers become morecompetitive recruiters. For small businesses especially, employersmay not be thinking about benefits from a recruitment perspectivel.Many tend to focus exclusively on compensation.

|

With hiring leverage largely in the hands of employees, thiscould be a mistake, and there is a good chance these clients orprospects are missing out on talent based on their benefitspackage.

|

By drawing awareness to this issue, you can open up theconversation about how a more competitive benefits package canimprove hiring rates.

|

What does a robust benefits package looklike?

You may want to find a real-life example from a large,competitive employer in your market. Here in middle Tennessee,Nissan is such an employer, offering a wide span of coverage, fromhealth and dental to disability and critical illness andbeyond.

|

Using an example, you can determine how the prospect's benefitplan compares and demonstrate why offering more lines of coverageaids in recruitment.

|

Many small and mid-sized employers may think that they can'tafford to offer so many lines of coverage. However, manysupplemental and ancillary lines of coverage can be offered on avoluntary basis at no or little cost to the employer.

|

What actually keeps most small and mid-sized employers fromoffering benefits packages on par with companies likeNissan is the administrative burden. Most small organizations don'thave the HR resources to manage so many lines of coverage onpaper.

|

However, more and more brokers and employers are usingtechnology solutions to administer benefits and HR, which cuts theadministrative burden and makes this process much easier tomanage.

|

Employees can easily see what benefit options they haveavailable and how much each will cost if elected. As a result, easeof use contributes to increasing participation rates.

|

Ultimately, this creates a triple win for employers, employeesand brokers. Employers are able to better compete in a challengingrecruitment environment by offering a better benefits package.Employees feel well taken care of and are able to pick and choosethe benefits that matter most to them. On top of this, brokers seerising ancillary revenues in an already strong employmentenvironment, further contributing to agency growth.

|

_______________________________________________________________

|

Alex Tolbert is the author of “Online Benefits Technology:The Strategic Broker's Guide” andleads BerniePortal, an all-in-oneHR platform built for brokers by brokers. Before he started theBerniePortal, he worked primarily as a group health insurancebroker.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.