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Cost control is employers' most important consideration in offering employee benefits

Controlling costs is the top challenge faced by HR professionals when offering employee benefits - but more than a quarter do not think they are leveraging maximum benefit from their current spend.

According to research released today by Vebnet, 34% of those responsible for reward and pensions think cost control is their biggest challenge and the least important consideration is meeting the diverse needs of the business, with only 4% citing this as their biggest challenge.

Richard Morgan, director of consultancy at Vebnet, said: "The invaluable cost savings that can be achieved by employers and employees through the implementation of schemes such as salary sacrifice, holiday buy and sell and retail vouchers has been demonstrated many times before. By offering an attractive benefits package employers can achieve and maintain a competitive advantage but the key to both is communication.

"Flexible benefit offerings are most effective if they are taken up by a substantial number of employees. Awareness generates loyalty and desirable competitive advantage. Communication of what is on offer is almost as vital as the benefits packages themselves."

Almost three quarters (72%) think they are leveraging maximum value from their employee benefits scheme, and half of respondents think being seen as an employer of choice is their number one reward objective. But 40% think being an employer of choice is least important to them when implementing an employee benefits scheme.

Employee engagement is also highly considered when employers look at employee benefits, with 31% claiming it is the second most important consideration to them.