The Most Powerful Recruiting Tools Might Just Be Behavioral Health and Well-Being Programs

Originally published on - March 19th, 2021.

Employee behavioral health and well-being dramatically affect a company’s culture, productivity, and overall success. Robust behavioral health and well-being programs are considered reliable indicators of a positive culture, and many candidates specifically prioritize employers with such programs in their job searches. That’s why recruiters would be wise to highlight their company’s commitment to behavioral health and well-being in their efforts to attract top candidates.

Healthy Employees Create a Healthy Culture

Many of us are struggling with behavioral and mental health issues like anxiety, stress, and burnout in the wake of COVID-19, according to the CDCFour in ten adults report experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression during the pandemic, a fourfold increase from 2019. Even those who are not currently struggling realize they could face behavioral and mental health challenges in the future.

Applicants understand that companies that value employee mental health and well-being are more likely to foster positive cultures. They also know these companies will support them with understanding managers, flexible work practices, and robust benefits programs that provide affordable access to necessary services.

Most workers want their future employers to provide a safe and welcoming environment. That means many applicants expect to hear about how your company supports employee mental health during the hiring process. By shining a spotlight on what their company does to help employees find balance, fight burnout, and stay healthy, recruiters can attract more applicants and hire better employees.

The business case for providing behavioral and mental health programs includes their value as a recruiting and retention tool. Appropriate investment in these programs sends a powerful and positive message to all employees and candidates: “You’re not alone. You’re facing something we’re all facing, and it doesn’t reflect poorly on you. The company hears you, and we care about you.” When employees experience such a supportive culture, they won’t hesitate to speak highly of your company to colleagues, customers, prospective candidates, and employer review sites like Glassdoor.

Healthy Employees Stick Around

Retention matters. There’s little value in hiring the best candidates if the company can’t keep them. Plus, prospective employees will want to know about retention rates because low retention rates are red flags suggesting a negative culture.

When employees struggle with their mental health, they may be forced to exit the workforce if the company offers inadequate support. That has an effect on your retention rates — and, in turn, it affects how prospective hires view your company. Programs that support employee mental health and well-being can keep more employees at your company for longer. These programs also make employees feel more valued — another key to keeping retention rates high. And as we know, retention of quality workers helps to attract quality recruits.

Even In-Office Employees Want to Know: How Do You Support Remote Workers?

Many of us spent 2020 working partially or fully remotely. Although most companies learned that remote work can be a successful and productive arrangement, they also learned about the potential pitfalls of working from home: isolation, a poor work/life balance, burnout, and other mental health challenges that hurt employee morale and productivity.

After facing these challenges head-on over the course of the past year, remote workers are looking for employers who will lend a hand when trouble inevitably arises. A company’s willingness to allow remote work and support remote workers with programs that address isolation, work/life balance, and burnout is a major selling point in this talent market. Candidates will see these things as indicators of a culture that genuinely values individual workers and accommodates their needs.

Progressive thinking concerning remote work and employee well-being leaves a positive impression on candidates, who will see the company as an innovative and forward-thinking business. That’s why wise recruiters will emphasize how the company supports remote workers’ behavioral health and well-being — even when recruiting candidates who may not be working remotely. After all, candidates understand that today’s in-house employee could be tomorrow’s at-home employee.

Better Wellness Programs, Better Hires

After the tumultuous year we’ve all had, it should come as no surprise that employees care deeply about the mental and physical health benefits your organization has to offer them. If your company makes robust behavioral health and wellness resources available and a competitor company doesn’t, you have an important feature that differentiates your organization from the rest.

Supporting employee mental health and well-being is essential for effective recruiting and overall business success. Recruiters should tout your company’s high-quality health and wellness programs. If they do, they’ll attract better applicants — and attracting better applicants will help justify your company’s continued investment in these programs. It’s a virtuous cycle, which is why robust mental health and well-being programs are powerful recruiting tools.

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