Picking an employee benefits scheme provider you can be confident in
The employee benefits market is brimming with providers, a great many of them excellent choices, but with the best will in the world, picking your way through the crowd can be a difficult task.
It goes without saying the range, scale, and type of benefits you’ll need will depend heavily on the profile of your organisation and the type of work you do. While we can’t anticipate all your needs, there are some questions you can ask and conditions to insist on which can swing the vote between a few providers:
Learn about their tech
Make sure your staff are able to engage effectively with the benefits platforms your potential providers offer. Request demos and get your employees exposed to the systems before making a decision.
Narrow down benefits providers
Having various companies chipping in piecemeal to make a wider benefits package is a recipe for a logistical nightmare and dissonance; when some providers don’t mesh with others. Limit your suppliers to as few as possible and make sure they’re capable of acting in synergy.
Use your network
Your peer group is an invaluable resource when it comes to finding out more about a benefits provider. Speak to your peers about their employee benefits providers and make notes on what they’re doing well and where they’re falling short to compare for the future.
Outline your needs
Generate a comprehensive outline of your organisation’s needs, and rigorously interrogate a proposed provider’s ability to meet the specific benefit requirements of your employees.
Read their press
Hop on the major HR news sites or Google News, and find out what’s being said about the providers you’re speaking to. Also check their own blog and news outlets, both will give you an idea of their position in the benefits market.
Ask about their financial stability
Find out how long they’ve been trading in the benefits field, and get a look at what their accounts are like. You want to be confident they can scale to your business’ demands without being put in a precarious financial position, and they’re coming to you with a sound footing.
Learn about their clients
Find out who else the company supplies benefits for, what kind of contracts they work on, and request case studies. Government contracts or public utility contracts require great scrutiny to fulfil, giving you more confidence in their services.
Ask if they outsource
Find out if the work of supplying benefits will be provided by a third party, and if so, how much. Ideally very little of your benefits provision will be farmed out beyond your provider, but where it’s unavoidable make sure there’s satisfactory due diligence conducted.
Question IT capacity
With new GDPR data regulations and more data being used and stored than ever before, it’s vital to make sure your benefits provider is legally and ethically housing your employees’ data. It’s also important to question their ability to prevent, detect and respond to data breaches or service outages.
Consult your own business
Consult trusted voices in your organisation, particularly anyone who deals with procurement and suppliers, to make sure there are no red flags coming from a potential benefits provider.
Ask about their support
At some point an employee will have difficulty with a benefits provider, which means they’ll rely on your providers’ support system. Find out how robust their ability is to address and solve the problems your employees have with their benefits provision.