How Leave Benefits Can Improve Your Recruitment Strategy

December 15, 2023

Attracting, hiring, and retaining the right talent remains a top priority for companies. The process, however, is in a constant state of transformation. HR professionals and recruiters are constantly updating their strategies for acquiring top talent as the labor market evolves.

Recruiting the right talent can also be costly – as high as three to four times a person’s annual salary. To meet business goals, keep costs down, and fill much-needed roles, organizations today are looking for ways to improve their recruiting process and boost retention efforts. One way that companies can stand out is by creating a benefits package that employees actually want, including a wide range of paid leave benefits.

Since there are no federal policies for paid leave in the United States, employees are increasingly looking to their employers to fill the gap. While it might not be surprising that paid leave is becoming an increasingly important benefit, just how much of an impact it can have might be. AbsenceSoft’s recent Leave of Absence Experience and Business Impact Report, which was based on a survey of 1,200 job seekers and employees, found that 42% of respondents wouldn’t apply to a job if no leave benefits were offered.

Showcasing leave benefits to attract quality candidates

It is not only crucial that companies offer benefits, but also provide greater detail about the benefits they offer earlier in the hiring process. We’ve seen this trend take off as more companies are offering salary ranges in the job descriptions –

some states and cities even require it. This transparency is now expected for other benefits. In addition to the salary, more companies are adding work culture, stating if hybrid or remote working opportunities are available, and listing out leave benefits.

Since a number of organizations have already expanded the types of leave they offer, putting leave benefits in the job description is a simple change for many. According to AbsenceSoft’s 2023 Employee Leave of Absence Forecast Survey, 70% of employers had recently added new paid leave policies, including more vacation time (50%), mental health days (48%), and company-sanctioned sabbaticals (23%).

Highlighting leave benefits during recruiting is especially impactful for jobseekers and makes it simpler for candidates and employers to match appropriately. The Leave of Absence Experience and Business Impact Report highlighted that 86% of survey respondents said they are more likely to apply for an open position that lists the position’s paid leave benefits in the job description or clearly on the organization’s website.

The survey also uncovered the most important paid leave benefits that respondents would want an employer or future employer to have. The top three most desired benefits were:

  1. Flexible time off
  2. Mental health days
  3. Parental leave

Final thoughts

Paid leave programs are more important than ever in attracting and retaining a talented workforce. More candidates are proactively seeking out leave benefits in their job searches and using them as a qualifier for the positions they apply for.

To attract top candidates, employers need to list paid leave benefits front and center in job postings. Today’s employees want paid leave and see it as a necessity and not a requirement. For many, it can be the deciding factor when choosing which job to accept.

Leave programs can no longer be an afterthought, and providing options for leave benefits must become an integral in meeting the heightened expectations of modern job seekers.

To learn more about why leave as a benefit should be a universal benefit and how employers can manage this shift, check out our video on the growing importance of leave management over the past 10 years.