There is a paradigm shiftoccurring in the small and mid-sized employer market that affectsthe way many prospects choose their benefits broker, and it mayimpact how agencies think about their business growth strategies in2019.

|

Increasingly, to be given the opportunity to solve anorganization's benefits challenges, brokers also have toprovide advice and solutions for the rest of the prospect's HRconcerns.

|

The rise of Zenefits showed that there is a sizable segment ofthe market that buys this way, and that segment will only continueto grow as tech-savvy millennials rise into decision-makingpositions within their organizations.

|

Because benefits is so intertwined with the rest of HR, manyemployers and HR leaders are looking to their broker for adviceacross all of HR — not just benefits.

Technology as the solution

To take advantage of this opportunity, and with theproliferation of HR technology available to small and mid-sizedbusinesses, more brokers are recognizing the need to offer acomprehensive solution to clients. As a result, advisors who havelost one or two groups due to this trend could see that number growover the next few years.

|

This shift in buying may necessitate a shift in sales strategy.The HR department plays a pivotal role in a company's benefitsdecisions, and to sell to this market, it's smart for brokers tocare about what HR cares about.

|

The HR department certainly cares about benefits, but the timethey spend thinking about benefits represents a small part of theiryear and task load. There are dozens of other administrativechallenges that burden the HR department, slow down theorganization and affect the employee experience. Brokers have anopportunity to add significant value by addressing these issuesalongside their benefits expertise.

What does HR care about?

Today, HR is focused on hiring. In the current highlycompetitive job market, most small and mid-sized businesses arestruggling to recruit and retain.

|

The entire hiring process is a big undertaking for HR, and thesuccess rate of the process has downstream consequences on the restof the business.

|

Most small employers don't have a solution for challenges likeapplicant tracking or onboarding, and providing HR tech to theseemployers can be a significant competitive differentiator forbrokers.

|

Further, when it comes to hiring, the benefits connection isclear. The point of offering benefits is to attract and retainemployees, and it makes sense for comprehensive advisors to have ahand in the rest of the recruit/retain process, which is whyconsulting in this area will increasingly need to become a part ofan agency's scope of services.

|

To address this trend, brokers can begin asking prospects andclients what challenges they face when it comes to hiring,retention, and the rest of HR. Likely, there are many areas whereyour agency could provide immense value, and this may help shapeyour sales strategy and 2019 action plan.

|

Alex Tolbert is theauthor of “Online Benefits Technology: The Strategic Broker'sGuide” and leads BerniePortal, an all-in-one HRplatform built for brokers by brokers. Before he started theBerniePortal, he worked primarily as a grouphealth insurance broker.

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.