When a business reaches a plateau in their human resources or benefits management process, a common, key concern is in hiring and retaining hardworking and skilled employees. Other times, the concern is in reviewing outdated business models that could use a pair of fresh eyes. Business owners want to lower their overhead and create more efficient processes in a competitive and fluctuating economy, full of competition. This is where it’s time to work with a benefits consultant.
A benefits consultant is a third-party professional who will work with a business to deeply ingrain themselves into the way standard operations work and to provide solutions to key concerns. A benefits consultant works with existing management to build and maintain their employee base and create a new workflow—replacing old patterns, missteps and redundancies—with a streamlined business plan and benefits model. Rather than promoting an inside employee with their own biases and blind spots, consider 5 surprising ways working with a professional can help to optimize efficiency and reach your business goals.
#1: Benefits Consultants Provide Experienced Outside Perspective
Your benefits consultant will likely have a wide and honed level of experience in benefits management, having worked on many past projects with diverse teams in a scope of industries, many of which who had similar concerns and issues. This means that your consultant will know what works and what doesn’t work, which means an expert opinion focused on benefits solutions.
Benefits consultants have a wide knowledge of industry standards and benefits products—from health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and more—and will be able to work within a business’s budget to find the perfect product from a reputable company in an oversaturated and competitive market.
Sometimes, key benefits concerns can be solved by looking at the problems in the current methodology from a different angle—that outside expert perspective. Instead of patching problems with risky quick-fixes—or worse, ignoring problems—professional consultants work with the entire team to improve the quality of benefits. The process is important. If a company follows a faulty workflow or provides mismatched services, having a knowledgeable outsider offer their expert opinion on the current processes may offer fresh view on how to reach goals of hiring and efficiency.
#2: Hiring a Benefits Consultant is Cost-Effective (and a Real Bargain)
Studies show that the process of recruiting, hiring, and training even a part-time employee can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 over the course of a year. Hiring a full-time staff member to manage benefits rather than working with a consulting firm includes the cost of hiring, as well as the additional expenses of office space, technology, and ongoing training.
Working with a consultant—a professional hired to focus on a particular issue at a specific point in time—cuts all of these organizational cost by a large percentage. Focused on meeting the goals of their contract, a benefits consultant will work hard to solve key solutions by a set timeline instead of allowing processes to slow or get lost in the shuffle.
#3: A Benefits Consultant Will Research and Secure the Perfect Plan
With hundreds of different benefits providers and varying levels of coverage and cost—both to the company and regarding copays, coverage limits, deductibles, etc—the process of picking and choosing a benefits plan that is both cost-effective and high quality has become an incredibly specialized field. Working with a team of benefits specialists serves to take the confusion of the wide open market out of the hands of a human resources representative, administrative team, or chief executive officer, whose levels of benefits expertise may vary or be limited to a personal insurance scope.
Companies benefit from balancing their benefits plans to remain competitive to top employees—those high-yield workers who make up the top 1 percent of the labor force. Working with a benefits consultant allows a business to learn competitive strategy, improving the quality of life for their current employees and building brand loyalty, as well as developing a corporate culture build on streamlining processes at lower price points.
#4. A Benefits Consultant Will Ask the Questions that Matter
During a review of a business’s compensation and benefits policies, a professional licensed and chartered benefits consultant should ask the right questions concerning the human resources process and your compensation strategies. Focusing on the particulars of employer contribution (Do they offer unnecessary plans? Do they weigh employees into one plan over another? What are differences between plans in cost and subsidy? Are employees leaving the company because of the cost of participating in the existing plan?
A benefits consultant can help you answer these questions and decide if a business is paying for more network than they need—optimizing access to local providers at a discount and distance coverage in most areas. Analyze the unique employment situation each business has to provide perfect benefits analysis.
#5. A Benefits Consultant Will Provide Unfiltered, Honest Feedback
Hiring a benefits consultant can be a hard first step to make. Some small business owners might now see the worth in using a professional team to help manage and plan complicated benefits plans. Other large companies may have out-of-date or understaffed human resources equipment and may need extra assistance to restore old reputations and steer more competitive employees towards becoming a part of the team.
The benefits consultant will eliminate practices that are doing more harm than good in an organization and find solutions to solve key concerns. Professional, collaborative and determined to meet common goals, benefits consultants will work with individuals or entire teams to offer professional advice and solid cost-effective human resources solutions to improve a business—note paid time or to rescue any “darlings.”
It’s Important to Consult with the Professionals
When a business reaches a plateau in their human resources or benefits management process, and have out-of-date plans that cost more than market costs, sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help a team set in their perspective how to use benefits strategy to retain those educated skilled employees. By proving an outside perspective focused on industry standards and benefits products having a knowledgeable outsider cut organizational cost by a set timeline with a team of benefits specialists and support staff to balancing businesses’ benefits plans to remain competitive, focusing, especially on copays, deductibles, and the particulars of employer contribution.
Hiring a benefits consultant can be a tough but wise decision. Sometimes, small business owners think they can manage on their own, or larger companies rely on bad plans and outdated systems. A benefits consultant works with existing management to build and maintain their employee base and create a new workflow—replacing old patterns, missteps and redundancies—with a streamlined business plan and benefits model. In these five ways and more, look and see how consulting with professionals can benefit your business.