This finding marks the first time in the survey’s 11-year history that such "talent management" issues have cracked the list of top five priorities for a majority of benefit managers. Fifty-six percent cited it this year. Controlling health care costs (cited by 90 percent of respondents) was the No. 1 issue.
Fifty-two percent cited addressing employee willingness to pay more for benefits as one of their top five priorities.
The results are a reminder of the "damned if you do, damned if you don’t" conundrum that faces many employers. Health care costs continue to rise, and many businesses are shifting costs to employees. At the same time, however, the job market is heating up, and employees will more often have the chance to compare benefits offerings among two or more companies.
A total of 350 benefits specialists in the United States were surveyed.