You’ve come up with a great business idea. You’ve used the DiscoveryBit business name generator to create a catchy handle. But now, how do you get the best talent to get this all going?
This also includes finding out what business insurance you need for yourself and your new employees by checking out a few business insurance reviews and comparing different employee health insurance options.
It is pertinent for every serious employer to understand the basics of what kind of company the best and brightest want to work for, how to hire, and the benefits and other perks you can use to get the people you want.
Laying the Groundwork: Good Business Insurance
Before you can even think of staffing your new business, let alone providing insurance to your staff, you have to decide how to insure your business. If you’re not going to cover your business against costly damages and legal claims, then you’re not going to attract employees who will invest their time and talents into your venture.
There are many types of business insurance available to protect you from a variety of situations, such as natural disasters, theft, lawsuits, or damage causing an interruption in your operations. While funds may be tight as a new business, you should at least carry some type of insurance that at the bare minimum protects your property.
Then you can add different types, buying them separately, or purchasing them as a package, which is the most cost-effective way.
Business Insurance Essentials
Property and casualty insurance is the bread and butter of your business insurance selection.
a) Property insurance will help cover damage or destruction to your business’ physical assets, like the building or furniture.
b) Casualty insurance will help cover damages or settlements stemming from any accidents related to your business that injured a third party.
Ask your insurance agent if your policy is broad, covering an array of disasters, or specific, covering only one form of a disaster.
Casualty insurance can then branch off into additional types. There are policies for cyber-fraud insurance, employee theft, and identity theft. If your business is heavily online-based, you’ll want your policy to cover your website. If you depend on computers to run your business, insure them in a separate policy.
Business insurance also usually includes liability insurance, which will help cover the loss to the business if it or its employees are sued for negligence. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, protects you against claims that you caused harm or damage while performing your work. It also protects you against any mistakes made by your employer or hired subcontractors.
And if you sell or manufacture products, then product liability insurance will help cover you in the event a customer is harmed by a mistake or a design defect in your product.
State Business Insurance Requirements
State laws govern variations in life, home, and car insurance, and it’s no different with business insurance. So check the state in which you operate to ensure you follow your state-specific business insurance requirements.
For example, when you have employees, you must carry either workers’ compensation insurance or contribute to a state fund. Workers’ comp protects your employees when they’re injured on the job. Some states allow a workers’ comp opt-out if you’re covered by private insurance.
If your business requires using transportation, state laws mandate how much commercial auto insurance, also known as business auto insurance, must be carried on a vehicle or vehicles. There is usually a minimum level of liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage that may result from a vehicle accident happening while you or someone from your organization is driving on business.
Optional Business Insurance
The statement “There is always more insurance you can get” is accurate, even when it comes to business insurance. Beyond basic protection, your specific type of business may call for more.
For example, a business interruption policy complements property and casualty insurance, covering your lost income from the interruption of business activities due to a disaster.
Your business could also benefit from life or disability insurance for the owners or key employees. As an owner, you can list your business as a beneficiary on the policy. Then the business can use the proceeds of the policy to buy out the share of the owner in the event of a disability or death.
And if you want a good way to attract and retain high-quality employees, purchase a group health insurance plan. We’ll go into detail about that in the next section.
Contact a few insurance agencies and compare the recommendations they give you for your business needs. Make that process easier by creating a list of everything your business does, so the agent can customize and suggest the most appropriate policies and amount of coverage.
Recommended Business Insurance Providers
Hiscox Insurance can provide businesses with all of their insurance needs. They offer general liability, business property, workers’ compensation, errors & omissions, business umbrella, and commercial auto.
They’re perfect for businesses just starting out because they have very affordable products priced specifically for companies with fewer than five employees across a wide range of industries.
They are in the top 10 business insurance companies in the United States. Their quoting process is quick and straightforward, and they have garnered few complaints.
Additional recommendations are State Farm, which is also a top pick for overall insurance needs, Nationwide for general liability insurance, The Hartford for workers’ compensation, Travelers for commercial property insurance, Liberty Mutual for business owners policies, and Progressive Commercial for commercial auto policies.
Getting Personal: Employee Health Insurance
In addition to getting the right insurance for your employees related to your business, you also want to look into employee health insurance.
When You Must Provide Employee Health Insurance
Technically, no employer has to provide employee health insurance. But if you’re a business with over 50 full-time employees (FTEs), in accordance with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), you will receive a tax penalty of $3,680 per employee if you don’t offer health insurance.
For businesses that are smaller, with under 50 FTEs, benefit plans are voluntary — that is, unless your business is in a state or a city that has taken employee health insurance rules into their own hands.
For example, Massachusetts requires employers with 11 or more FTEs to provide them with “a fair and reasonable contribution” to their employee health insurance or be fined. In other words, they are ordered to pay a Fair Share Contribution (FSC) of up to $295 per employee per year to the state. That money goes to a fund that supports health care for low-income individuals and their families.
Vermont and Maine have also enacted similar mandates requiring employers to provide a contribution to their employees’ health care coverage. And San Francisco has a health care security ordinance requiring employers to spend a minimum amount of money per hour on health insurance for employees who work in San Francisco.
Why You Should Provide Employee Health Insurance
If you offer a benefit plan, you will attract more desirable employees — and keep them, as they’re more likely to make a long-term commitment to your business. You’re showing them that you respect them, you’re invested in their health, and you’re thinking of their future with you.
Employee health insurance is a way to not only enhance employee engagement but also to differentiate your business from competitors.
Most full-time employees expect health insurance. For some employees, it’s a form of compensation that’s more important than salary.
How to Provide Employee Health Insurance
Having a stable business with long-term employees will likely outweigh the costs of employee health insurance in the long run. Who doesn’t want healthy employees? But it’s a struggle for businesses, especially small businesses, to find the right balance between cost and benefit.
Here are some options:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) for employers with under 50 FTEs who want to provide health and dental coverage.
Certain employers can enroll in SHOP either through private insurance companies or with assistance from a SHOP-registered agent or broker.
If you use SHOP, you can qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to lower premium costs. While there’s no contribution requirement for SHOP coverage, an employer must contribute at least 50% of the cost of premiums for all FTEs who enroll in this coverage in order to be eligible for the tax credit.
There are state-by-state variations on SHOP. For example, employers in Vermont, New York, Colorado, and California who have up to 100 employees can use the SHOP marketplace. And some states provide SHOP through HealthCare.gov while some run their own exchanges through certain providers, such as Georgia using Kaiser and New Jersey going with Horizon Health Care Services.
If you don’t offer a group health plan, like SHOP coverage or a flexible spending account (FSA), then the government also offers Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). It’s a type of group health plan that allows small-business employers to help their employees pay for medical expenses, including premiums for individual coverage or other expenses on a tax-free basis.
Small employers can decide what they’ll contribute to their employees’ health care costs up to the annual maximum.
Under the Department of Labor’s rule established in 2018, Association Health Plans (AHPs) allow small businesses to band together by industry or geography to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single large employer.
Private Companies: If you prefer to check with health insurance companies, the best providers for small business owners are Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, and Cigna.
Setting the Tone: Company Culture
So you have your insurance squared away. Now it’s time to work on being a company that attracts high-quality employees.
Define Your Company Culture
What is a company culture? It’s how your company works and acts, based on the company’s mission, values, ethics, expectations, goals, and leadership style. A good company culture engages employees, which in turn increases employee retention.
You can cultivate a positive company culture by clearly defining and communicating your mission, vision, and values. Share what you’re passionate about, welcome your employees to share with you, and then lead by example to reflect that.
Specific ways you can engage employees are to clearly set goals and expectations and then have performance reviews in order to reward employees for achieving goals and to spot ways they can grow. Recognize good work outside of that annual review. And help make your employees happy with other incentives and amenities.
Create Additional Employee Benefits
Workers comp, check. Some form of health insurance, hopefully, check. And here’s a possible addition — you could give your employees a tax-free way to pay for health insurance expenses with a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible savings account (FSA).
The individual controls an HSA and contributions can rollover. The employer controls the FSA, so it is less flexible. Employers can offer FSA alongside a health insurance plan, or as a standalone benefit. Employers also don’t have to pay payroll tax on employee contributions.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money to set up and maintain a 401(k) plan that automatically funnels money from employees’ pay into a retirement account. The contributions are tax-deductible, and employers can claim several tax credits.
Many companies are also offering identity theft protection as an inexpensive voluntary benefit. This benefit can help you as an employer since an employee untangling the mess caused by identity theft can take him away from focusing on work for several days.
Another biggie, especially for retaining younger workers who have a high tendency to job hop, is offering student loan assistance — even just a small amount per month would help graduates pay off their loans early.
Add Other Employee Perks
You have a lot of job perks as a business owner, including the opportunity to pursue your passion, the ability to call the shots, and flexibility.
So it should be easy to understand that those you hire will want job perks, too.
Your new employees should understand that big perks that have made headlines — from Google employees eating every meal at work for free to Spotify covering the cost of egg freezing and fertility assistance to workers — are out of reach now, but engaging in a few that are much more manageable for you should engage some positive feedback from your well-meaning displays of benevolence.
A few affordable ideas include flexible work options such as flextime or telecommuting, giving paid time off (PTO) for volunteering, creating a comfortable work environment, looking into team discounts from local businesses and services, rewarding high performance with gift certificates, giving birthday treats, and even having free snacks and coffee.
And buying company-branded swag in bulk to hand out is always a good idea, as your employees will act as your brand ambassadors whenever they’re out and about wearing or using your purchases.
Even small rewards score big with employees — I’ve seen it time and again, from creating and coordinating a division-wide employee morale project at a tech company to serving on an employee engagement committee at a bank and even to handing out company logo T-shirts as a plant office manager.
Seeking Workers: Employee Recruitment
Now that you know what your company stands for, next is meeting the challenge of how talented candidates can find you.
Where to Look for Talent
When you’re ready to advertise positions, the cross-channel promotion will attract a wide variety of candidates. While LinkedIn is a great tool for finding candidates, don’t rely on it as your sole source.
Networking isn’t the only key for job seekers. One of the faster and more effective ways to build a strong talent pipeline is utilizing the various forms of networking.
While the coronavirus pandemic has virtually eliminated in-person networking, for the time being, there are still plenty of virtual networking opportunities, such as virtual job fairs, conferences, and online events in which you can meet potential job candidates. You can also reach out to your personal network.
Take advantage of posting your positions on as many job sites as you want to devote time to review. There are well-known sites like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed, but also look for specialty job boards, like GitHub or WeWorkRemotely.
If you’re not finding the job candidates you desire, or you find you simply don’t have the bandwidth to devote attention to hiring, then let a recruiter find you what you want.
But if you opt for a recruiter or a recruiting company, invest the time to vet them thoroughly. To get you started on what to look for, learn from professionals what job recruiters should do better, including doing their homework, being efficient, and following through.
Recruiters are representing you, so you need to trust they’re finding you the best people in the shortest amount of time, and not doing anything to tarnish your reputation.
How to Craft the Right Job Description
And whether you use a recruiter or go do it yourself ( DIY), in this day and age be sure to promote diversity. You can do this by removing gender bias from job ads. Be mindful of your pronouns in the job description. And, for example, if you’re looking for a project manager, just title the job “project manager” and not “superhero,” which intuitively suggests a male.
Speaking of job titles, steer clear of trying to be too clever or cutesy with them, such as seeking a “rockstar developer” or a “marketing genius.”
Although they’re fun buzzwords that are on the rise in weird job titles, according to Indeed, these types of titles could confuse job seekers or make them not take the posting seriously especially in the case of millennials and baby boomers — both of which could keep you from attracting relevant candidates.
So keep the job title concise, describe the job title in normal terms, avoid internal titles that don’t accurately describe the job (such as “Web Designer II” instead of “Senior Web Designer”), and use the job title to describe the main aspects of the job.
Not only will this help you attract the right applicants, but it will also help you rank higher in search results so candidates can better find you. Now let all of that hard work you’ve done creating your business merge with these insurance recommendations and staffing tips to align you for success.Tags: Business insurance How to attract the best employees Types of business insurance