5 Associate-First Workplace Benefits for Attracting Candidates

5 Associate-First Workplace Benefits for Attracting Candidates

Does Your Company Offer These 5 Associate-First Benefits?


“Back to basics.” That’s the motto plenty of companies champion in today’s competitive hiring environment. Businesses interested in building their overall value propositions and talent pipelines are starting from the ground up, and that includes offering attractive, comprehensive associate-first benefits.

What do we mean by associate-first? It’s when recruiters and hiring managers look at the most common employee pain points, then use those findings to adopt new benefits or reshape existing ones. The advantage of an associate-first approach is simple: Employers can make attracting candidates (and retaining current employees) easier by centering workplace benefits on what employees need.


What do associate-first benefits look like in practice? Here are a few examples.

  1. Family-wide Benefits Packages

According to a new McKinsey & Company survey, nearly 4 in 10 parents who make less than $50,000 annually can’t afford child care. Others may feel overwhelmed by the financial obligations of caring for older kids or aging parents.

That’s why employers are beginning to answer this call by offering family-wide workplace benefits. The benefits may help cover part of the cost of child care or eldercare. Alternatively, they may be offered as a stipend that all employees, including those without children or dependent parents, can use to lighten their financial loads.


Building family care assistance into your associates’ benefits gives them peace of mind that their loved ones’ needs can be met. Employers can show their people they care by enabling them to bring their best, most effective selves to work every day.


  1. Continuing Education


Job-related education isn’t limited to on-site training, online seminars, and multiday conferences. Some formal education requires months or years of study — and comes with a sizable price tag. Companies that can foot some (or all) of that bill show a willingness to invest in their associates’ professional growth.


At Integrity Staffing Solutions, we do this through Next Step U. Through this program, our associates get access to 12 online courses to add to or build up their current professional skill sets. And all our associates have access to Next Step U free of charge!


How many top candidates could be wooed by this type of associate-first benefit? According to a recent poll, almost half of working adults surveyed said they’d consider taking a job with a different employer if the employer offered competitive upskilling perks. Offering and supporting continuing education opportunities is a great way to advocate for your employees’ success. Not only do you provide people opportunities to learn and build their résumés, but you also improve their chances for a promotion (with you or someone else) down the line.

  1. Retention-Leaning Pay Initiatives


An attractive standard hourly pay rate may not be enough to keep someone engaged at work. However, when combined with retention-based pay initiatives, the deal can prove irresistible enough to affect turnover rates positively.

These types of incentives are typically based on tenure. For example, employees may receive a sign-on bonus, three-month bonus, or yearly bonus. Workers who have been with the company for five or 10 years may be eligible for money and additional time off.


This gives current employees something to work toward and your company something to entice potential candidates with. It’s a win-win for employers and associates.

  1. Investment Opportunities


The ability to save money for the future can be just as significant as a base salary for associates. Investment opportunities can run the gamut from group life insurance packages to 401(k) options with an employer match.

It’s no surprise, then, that companies build goodwill and loyalty when their employees aren’t as worried about retirement or making ends meet. Plus, the more investment perks an employer provides, the greater the likelihood that workers will think twice before going somewhere else.

  1. Early Access to Earned Wages

Advancements in financial tech have allowed many companies to be more creative when it comes to delivering employee wages. For example, innovative companies are dabbling with providing early access to pay. Take our PayActiv program, for example. It enables associates to get access to up to 50% of their earned wages before payday so they can better manage day-to-day finances.


Giving employees the ability to use the cash they earn right away lowers their stress levels. And less-stressed employees are better able to focus and do great work.

Hiring exceptional candidates starts with anticipating and solving their most extensive needs. By implementing a host of associate-first benefits, employers and recruiting teams can fill their talent pipelines and empty seats with ease.