Top 10 Basic Benefits Every HR Professional Should Know

In this first article we establish ten basic benefits every HR professional should know. This article is part of a 5 part series Building Better Benefits 101 which helps companies learn how to differentiate themselves amidst a competitive job market. This series is to help promote CloudAdvisors newly launched BAR Score, where you can evaluate how effective, and competitive your current benefits plan really is.


Not sure what benefits to offer employees? Employee benefits play a key role in employee engagement, attraction and retention. Employers who don’t prioritize their benefits can risk key performers leaving, or even choosing a competitor to work for. Employers who offer top employee benefits have seen an increase in employee engagement and retention, and can further differentiate themselves from their competitors.


Employee benefits encompass a large variety of employee needs. They range from financial, wellness, education, and recognition perks. But before starting to expand your benefits package, you’ll need to build a benefits plan that will help you set a well rounded foundation for expansion.


Here are 10 basic benefits for employees you’ll need to include in your employee benefits offering to stay competitive in the job market.

Our Top 10 Basic Employee Benefits

1. Paid Time Off

Paid time off can greatly improve your employees’ mental health and is a staple in any company’s benefits package. Sick days, vacation time, or personal days all make up paid time off and includes time where your employees are entitled to pay even though they are out of office.

2. Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is a common employee benefit, which is usually split as 80/20 between the employer and the employee. Though not required by law, dental insurance can come in many forms. Fully-funded employer plans, partially-funded employer plans, or fully funded employee plans are a few examples.

3. Extended Health Insurance

Existing government plans might not cover everything, and offering extended health insurance as an employee benefit helps your employees cover supplemental charges. This benefit is a must-have if you are aiming to stay as competitive as possible. It may cover areas such as prescriptions drugs, hospital care, paramedical services, and more.

4. Long and Short Term Disability

The inclusion of both short and long term disability insurance for your employees helps insure the ability to earn an income incase of a life altering event. Offering both is preferred, as a waiting period often exists before employees are able to receive long-term disability payments.

5. Retirement Savings Plan

Aim to further retain, recruit, and attract your staff with a retirement savings plan, which involves contributing to an employee’s retirement savings. This will greatly help reduce employee turnover. There are multiple options available, including matching programs and profit-sharing ones.

6. Vision Insurance

Like dental, vision insurance is not mandatory but is often considered an essential employee benefit. Covering options like eye exams, glasses prescriptions, and surgeries, vision insurance can help your employees stay as healthy as possible.

7. Flexible Work and Remote Options:

Remote work options have become one of the most important employee benefits over the course of the pandemic. It can help improve accessibility and productivity for your employees as it reduces the stress of transportation and health concerns. Flexible work options are a great way to attract talent and stand out.

8. Life Insurance

Though not as common as health insurance, life insurance helps assure employees in the event of a death. Employers often offer a life insurance amount that matches the amount of the employee’s salary that provides comfort for their employee and their family.

9. Accidental Death and Dismemberment

If an unforeseen injury or death were to occur, accidental death and dismemberment helps protect employees and their families to cover the costs associated with that. It helps offset the financial burden and would act as a lump sum amount in addition to life or disability insurance. 

10. Financial Planning Resources

This benefit can help your employees secure greater financial freedom and resources, resulting in greater job satisfaction and productivity. Because employees may need help budgeting for their mortgage, or paying student loans, assistance with financial planning can help them feel more supported.


Employee benefits are an integral part of your Total Compensation. Here are some further ideas for attracting and retaining employees from our friends at Benefits By Design Inc.

Building Your Benefits Plan

To attract and retain top talent, it is essential to build out a comprehensive benefits plan, but even more crucial to start with the basics. Get on your way to recruit and retain the best employees by starting with the top 10 basic benefits each HR professional should know. If your benefits plan currently includes all the following benefits, chances are that your current benefits offering is above the 50th percentile. As an HR professional, you can use the CloudAdvisors BAR Score to get a better idea as to where your plan currently stands.


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What is an employee benefits plan booklet?

It's a document provided by your employee benefits provider that details the coverage level, types of benefits, and cost of your plan. Ask your advisor or your provider to provide you with this document.

If you're still unsure, reach out to us at [email protected] and we can show you examples.


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