Faces of HR

Faces of HR: Best of Benefits

It’s Employee Benefits Week at HR Daily Advisor—and we couldn’t be more excited to share the timely news and insights with our dedicated HRDA audience. For our Faces of HR column this week, we look back at some of our favorite Faces and share their expert commentary and insights from the front lines of managing employee benefits and compensation.

Matt Bahl

So, where do these experts see the HR industry heading in five years? Matt Bahl, Vice President of Workplace Market Lead at Financial Health Network, shared with HR Daily Advisor that he sees the industry becoming better and nimbler in the face of constant change.

“The last couple years are a good example,” Bahl says. “We saw HR teams mobilize quickly to facilitate remote work arrangements, to enhance safety protocols, to invest more deeply and intentionally in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and we saw an explosion in interest around enhancing financial health benefits. In other words, the last two plus years accelerated several trends that were already percolating in the workplace.

“Ultimately, the HR teams that help their organizations understand the value of listening to workers and designing workplace solutions that meet the material needs of workers will be best positioned to win the now-perpetual war for talent,” he added. “Those that don’t evolve or rely on outdated frameworks or models of work will survive for the short term, but workers have more choice now than ever and this means companies are competing in new ways for talent at all levels of an organization. Those that can demonstrate how they improve the lives of their people, will be best positioned to recruit, and retain talent and also drive better business outcomes.”

Charles Lattimer

Charles Lattimer, VP of Innovation and Growth at FinFit, believes that “the trend of managing the cost of benefits from corporate balance sheets and onto the American worker has bottomed out.”

“With 60% of folks working paycheck to paycheck, workers have nothing left to give,” Lattimer explained. “To be competitive in the war for talent, companies need to step up with better healthcare, continued education and certifications, unrestricted emergency savings vehicles, access to short-term financial liquidity, robust retirement matches, ready access to mental health services, safe spaces to deal with addictions, inclusive work environments, and many more things to foster the holistic wellness of each employee.

“To address this complex opportunity, countless point solutions are emerging, and most will die off or be acquired,” he continued. “Jumbo, payroll-connected human resources “super apps” are on the way – with a half a dozen or so major winners. This will allow small to mid-size companies to compete more effectively with large enterprises for talent in a distributed workforce. To keep costs under control with scale, the Fortune 500 will orchestrate their own internal, holistic solutions – the economics for outsourcing an array of point solutions stop making sense once you exceed a six-figure person workforce. In five years, most of this will be cleaned up, and the HR function will be greatly streamlined and infinitely more effective.”

Shrina Sood

Last but not least, Shrina Sood, Associate Vice President of Talent Acquisition & Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) at Curriculum Associates, noted that the Great Resignation industries are experiencing is a “great reset for how we do our work and where we do it.”

“COVID-19 progressed HR initiatives very quickly, in many ways helping the work that HR has been trying to move the needle on for the past two decades in less than two years,” Sood shared. “For example, recruiters have been asking for remote work so we would have the opportunity to hire talent anywhere in the US. We’ve also been waiting for organizations to not only talk about DEI but to invest their dollars to this work. Same goes for work life balance, equitable pay, and flexible working hours. Employees have been craving all of this – the pandemic brought the issues to the forefront in a very short amount of time.”