three ways to attract and retain top talent with a tight budget
  • Industry Trends & Insights

3 Ways to Attract And Retain Top Talent with a Tight Budget

With unemployment at an all-time low since the 1960’s1, employees have never had more options during the job search. Public and private sector organizations face similar talent shortages and are increasingly deploying creative tactics to attract and retain high performers. However, for organizations with tight budgets such as cause-based nonprofits, state & local governments and educational institutions, competing against the private sector based on compensation alone is difficult to do.  

Benefitfocus recently sponsored Blackbaud’s annual conference, bbcon2019, which brings together thousands of fundraisers, marketers, administrators and executives across the social good community to discuss today’s trends and learn about future innovations available through Blackbaud’s cloud solutions. During the Benefitfocus session, I shared insight into the strategies our customer community are implementing to help recruit and retain the employees that are best matched for their social good organizations.

Showcase Your Mission

According to a LinkedIn’s Workplace Culture Report, 86 percent of millennials would consider a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own. The same study found that strong benefits over perks is one of the three factors that would keep professionals at their company for the next five years.2 These findings are great news for nonprofits. According to NonprofitHR, nonprofits are most challenged to retain employees under 30, millennials and Generation Z.3 By purposefully showcasing the organization’s social mission and cause as a fundamental part of your employee value propositions, you’ll attract employees whose personal values are closely tied to your organization’s social mission and thus more engaged, loyal and productive.

Leverage Technology

According to SHRM, 91 percent of Gen Zers said technological sophistication impacts their interest in working at a company.4 Gen Zers (Ages 4-24) are digital and social natives, meaning they're the first generation born into a world where technology and social platforms are the norm. Many may even have a digital identity across these platforms before they are even old enough to have their own accounts. Think about all the ultrasound, sport and kindergarten graduation pictures posted every day on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In a world where Netflix helps you decide what to watch, Spotify introduces you to new music genres and artist, and Alexa keeps you on schedule, why should work be any different? Making the most of technology investment in platforms of the future, the ability to connect complex ecosystems to provide a simple experience has never been more crucial to attracting the workforce of the future. 

Provide Empathy at Scale

Taking a modern approach to compensation strategies by helping employees feel valued beyond their direct compensation can help combat retention challenges. Showcasing indirect compensation like healthcare, voluntary benefits and financial wellness programs help employees recognize the true value of the investment you make in them. But without the ability to provide empathy at scale, you risk employees not recognizing the value of your total benefits package.

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the feelings of your employees. Empathy at scale is the ability to understand and relate to the feelings of every single individual employee in your workforce. Benefitfocus takes a design thinking approach to deepen our understanding of individual needs, perceptions and behaviors. We use these insights to redefine the benefits experience and improve how people interact with their employer and insurance carriers. By providing a tailored, personalized and relevant experience unique to every individual in your workforce, you’re much more likely to demonstrate value, increase engagement and encourage responsible benefits usage.

Watch this on-demand webinar to find out more about how we're combining massive scale with artificial intelligence to make it easier than ever to enable more meaningful employee engagement and higher talent retention.


1. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2. LinkedIn’s Workplace Culture Report

3. NonprofitHR