This Open Enrollment Season, Add Some Helping Hands to Your HR Team

By Jordan Quigley on September 28, 2022 at 7:29pm

By Jordan Quigley, North American Vice President, Administrative and Customer Support Group, Robert Half

Has your turnover been ticking up while job applications slip down? It could be a result of your benefits package. When we ask our clients what they’re doing differently to attract and keep talent today, many tell us that benefits — once a relatively simple employer function — have become a critical and competitive employee engagement opportunity.

Luckily, open enrollment season is here, along with opportunities to adjust your health and wellness offerings, roll out new perks, and communicate to employees what makes your company a great place to work.

So now, as predictably as pumpkin spice flavors appear on retail shelves, open enrollment tasks are landing on the desks of your human resources (HR) team. In addition to reviewing health benefits, this is also the time of year when HR and benefits specialists will be absorbed in reviewing the entire benefits strategy and exploring the marketplace of new products.

The season is short, HR workloads are peaking and companies have never been more pressured to get it right. Have you considered giving your team a helping hand? Or several?

You certainly won’t be alone. According to research for Robert Half’s 2023 Salary Guide, 55% of U.S. companies plan to bring in contract talent in the next year — up from 35% a year ago. Almost three-quarters (73%) of companies currently use managed services arrangements, hiring anywhere from one contract professional to an entire team to lead, help with or consult on projects as part of their business initiatives.

Learn about our talent solutions, including managed solutions, for administrative and customer support roles here

A call for reinforcements

Open enrollment is a great time to leverage contract HR and administrative talent in your business — for the season or any reason. Here are five reasons outsourcing some (or all) of your benefits tasks can help elevate your employer brand:

  1. HR teams already face heavier workloads due to new workplace pressures and realities. They are managing new priorities such as the return to office after COVID-19 social distancing, the integration of remote and hybrid work arrangements, and lower headcounts due to the global resignation trend — which has not spared HR departments.
  2. Employees value benefits more than ever, and they make choices accordingly. Take health insurance, for example. Research for Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide shows that health insurance is the benefit that U.S. workers want most. As for perks, employees increasingly expect to get a wide range of well-being services via their employers, such as mental health support, fitness programs and financial wellness. The company that can beat another on benefits often has an edge when hiring skilled talent.
  3. Employees want and need more choice. Today’s workers want to select from a benefits menu that fits their age and stage of life, whether they are beginning their careers and need lower-cost options, starting a family and need more coverage, or nearing retirement and want excellent health coverage while maximizing their savings.
  4. Benefits offerings have never been richer and more complex. Today, your HR team is likely to be working out benefits packages for people working remotely across the country and in states and localities with varying laws. At the same time, new perks and benefits are proliferating, like pet insurance, health and wellness programs, hearing care, and telemedicine. Meanwhile, providers are bringing many digital tools to the market — like apps, trackers and self-service portals to add value to their products. These trends compound the already-complicated process of choosing a comprehensive benefits strategy for the company.
  5. Benefits programs today should be explicitly designed and updated to be customizable to employees. A great way to make sure that happens is to use data analytics to reveal groups of employees who might be erroneously overlooked or excluded because of benefits affordability, accessibility, or capability to meet their physical, mental and emotional well-being needs.

Among the most commonly outsourced roles for open enrollment are:

  • Compensation and benefits administrators
  • Customer support specialists
  • Data entry specialists
  • Enrollment specialists
  • HR assistants, generalists and recruiters
  • Member services specialists

How much time and effort could you save?

By leveraging contract talent to support your open enrollment tasks, you can:

  • Get the most value for your budget
  • Customize your benefits cost-effectively
  • See increased uptake of benefits from your employees
  • Ensure more effective benefits communication with employees
  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Ensure all your employees are being served inclusively and equitably

A little preparation can go a long way if your organization is burdened by too much work or too few workers. Apply the strategy above to find the best seasonal employees who can provide extra support when there is a temporary increase in workload — and take the load off you and the rest of your team.

Follow Jordan Quigley on LinkedIn.

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