One way companies can attract the best talent is by enhancing their employee value propositions.

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Given recent high rates of year-over-year employment growth, it’s not surprising that middle market companies cite talent issues as a top challenge. Companies need qualified people to help support growth, and those people can be difficult to find.

One way companies can attract the best talent is by enhancing their employee value propositions, or the complete package of benefits and opportunities that employees receive in exchange for working for a firm. Middle market companies appear equally split between three approaches to benefits: Minimizers offer only what’s expected. Competitors offer expanded services to keep up with peers. And Differentiators use benefits as a strategic tool for attracting the best talent. In terms of ownership structures, partnerships tend to be more strategic than companies with other ownership types, while public firms and non-profits are much more likely to match the competition. Interestingly, Competitors show the fastest revenue growth and Minimizers are posting the highest employment growth rates and expect the greatest increases in headcount in the year to come.

From an industry perspective, the fastest-growing segments, including business services, financial services, and healthcare, offer the most diverse benefits packages. It’s not surprising that slower-growing industries, namely retail and wholesale, offer less comprehensive benefits. Yet, executives in these industries appear to be no less satisfied with the benefits they offer than their peers whose packages are more robust, presumably because their bar is lower.

Retailers, however, are most concerned about the financial well-being of their employees, probably because pay tends to be lower in this industry. But they are not alone. Most leaders across all industries are at least somewhat concerned about employees’ financial health. And some are doing something about it: Indeed, financial wellness packages, along with physical and emotional wellness, are emerging benefit areas that some companies, upper middle market firms in particular, are considering adding to attract more employees.