Canada Employed

  • Health as Important as Wealth - Employers Need to Provide Health Insurance and Other Benefits to Keep Talent

    TORONTO - October 23, 2019



    • Health as Important as Wealth - Employers Need to Provide Health Insurance and Other Benefits to Keep Talent

    • New Survey: Health Insurance and Other Benefits as Important to Job Seekers as Wages

    • Experts: In This Market, Job Seekers Can Afford to Be Selective



    When job seekers evaluate job offers and job opportunities, they look at more than just the hourly wage or base salary. According to a new survey from Express Employment Professionals, an overwhelming majority - 91% - consider health insurance and other benefits a "deciding factor".

    Express surveyed 672 job seekers and posed the question, "Are employer-provided benefits and/or health insurance a deciding factor in your decision to work for a company?"

    • 91 percent said, "Yes, it is a deciding factor."
    • 9 percent said, "No, it is not a deciding factor.






    Express also asked about the effect of losing such benefits. Respondents were asked, "Would you continue working at your company if benefits and/or health insurance were not provided?"

    • 77 percent said "no."
    • 23 percent said "yes."




    Express franchise owners emphasize that in the current tight labour market, job seekers can afford to be picky about benefits.

    "There's no question that employees and job seekers value employer-provided health care benefits," according to Bruce Hein, an Express franchise owner in Sarnia, Ontario. "It is significantly harder to attract the right candidates if a strong medical benefits package is not on offer. To many, it matters just as much as salary."

    "Even though Canada has a taxpayer-funded health care system, it does not cover essentials like prescription drugs, dental care or vision care," Hein added. "These things can add up fast and are difficult to afford if you don't have benefits covering some of the costs."

    Daisy Kaur, an Express franchise owner in Pickering, Ontario, agrees.

    "Offering benefits to your employees is important, because it shows investment in their overall health and future," she said. "A comprehensive benefits package can help attract and retain talent and help you stand out from the competition. Smart employers also know that having healthier employees translates to reduced costs for your organization."

    But health care is not the only benefit that's becoming a must-have, according to both Hein and Kaur. 

    "Aside from health benefits, flex time and working remotely are probably the most talked about perks right now," Hein said. "Time off has also become a key component in the negotiation process. Candidates, especially those with families, will often go where there is the most vacation time, sick time or personal days."

    "In recent years, especially with our tight labour market, benefits have become an even more important part of the compensation package, especially within a multi-generational workplace," Kaur said. "For example, candidates are seeking work-from-home options, financial wellness programs, retirement plans and paid personal leave to care for aging parents."

    Employer-provided health care is a critical factor in the job search, agrees Bill Stoller, CEO of Express.

    "For workers with families, the fear of not being able to afford their health care needs is real," he said. "In such a tight labor market, very few workers are willing to leave their health care up to chance. And as long as we continue seeing a tight labor market, the level of benefits that employees expect-and can demand-will continue to rise."

    The survey of 672 job seekers and decision makers was conducted in September 2019 through the Express Job Journey and Refresh Leadership blogs.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Ana Curic at (613) 858-2622 or email

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 7.7 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.56 billion in sales and employed a record 566,000 people in 2018. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit