As an employer, you may have noticed that high-quality talent is seeking a lot more regarding employee benefits. One such demand is a pet wellness package. And these perks are becoming a dealbreaker. Pets are a vital part of families and deserve as much care as we do. So, what can companies do to support these family members? Below, we discuss why not offering employee pet benefits could harm your hiring efforts.

Employee pet benefits are becoming a dealbreaker—here's why

If you're looking to make a change to your employee benefits package, now is the time to act. The pandemic saw a significant shift in how talented professionals think about their jobs and careers. Employees and their needs are driving the labor market. We're officially in a period called The Great Renegotiation.

What does this mean? For employers, you'll need to offer more appealing company perks to stay competitive. Many employees continue to leave their jobs. In 2020, workforce participation decreased mainly due to a lack of childcare. That's not the case now. Instead, employees are searching for companies that can offer them more. More career growth opportunities, more support, and more health-care benefits.

Yet, what's most interesting is that employees include their pets in their career decisions. The pandemic saw millions of people working remotely. This increased workers' bonding time with their pets—putting their priorities into perspective. And their pets are a big priority.

As you know, pet ownership isn't cheap. So, where pet owners can save money, they will. Many include employee pet benefits as a must-have when searching for a new job. Let's say you're a software engineering company based in Denver, Colorado. A few other big players are also in the city. A pet parent has an interview with you and a competitor. The interview went well, and you're impressed with the candidate.

Both companies have similar growth opportunities and are offering the same wage package. On paper, you and your competitor are almost the same. The candidate chooses the other company. What was the dealbreaker? You don't have a pet-friendly company, and your competitor does.

That's how easy it is for employees to glance over a role with your company—especially if you don't offer what they need professionally and personally. So, is it worth offering pet wellness benefits? We think so, but let's look at some statistics.

Pet ownership statistics 2020 to 2022

According to the American Pet Products Association, a recent study found that 70% of households in the United States own a pet. Approximately 90.5 million homes have a dog, cat, or another animal. This number isn't surprising.

When lockdown measures began, many employees (primarily millennials) decided to adopt a dog or cat. An ASPCA survey states one in five households participated in pet adoption. These pets provide owners with the joy and affection they searched for during the first COVID-19 lockdown. And that won't change anytime soon.

With the addition of so many pets to American homes during the last two years, it's no wonder employees are searching for pet benefits. So, how exactly will this employee perk improve hiring efforts?

How pet wellness benefits can improve hiring efforts

Offering employee pet benefits sends a strong message: Your team and their pets matter. Recent figures from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggest that only 15% of companies offer pet health insurance. This is surprisingly low considering pet ownership statistics. Yet, what improvements can you expect when hiring?

Provides recognition of employee's needs

When you openly recognize the needs of high-quality talent, this will improve retention levels and hiring efforts. If a potential candidate can see you support pet parents, it'll be a no-brainer for them to apply for a position. Including pet wellness as a fringe benefit proves to pet owners that you're committed to helping them and their pets lead healthier lives.

Make sure to mention this benefit on your website, social media profiles, and job advertisements. Doing so will ensure that parents don't accidentally skip over your company. Offering employee pet benefits is something your organization should be incredibly proud of.

Shows company support for employee mental health

It's well documented that having pets delivers excellent mental-health benefits. Petting a dog or cat lowers stress and eases anxiety symptoms. During the pandemic, the need for programs that support mental health skyrocketed. Implementing a pet wellness plan shows employees that their mental health matters, particularly when ridding them of the stress of pet ownership costs.

Recognizes the need for a pet-friendly workplace

Additionally, employee pet benefits show that your company acknowledges the need for pet-friendly workplaces in a post-pandemic world. While many companies continue to work remotely, others are returning to the office part-time. If you're one of those organizations, you'll need a pet-friendly workplace.

It tells potential candidates you recognize their roles as pet parents. And you're prepared to provide them with what they need to look after their furry friends (e.g., pet-friendly offices, pet wellness plans, etc.). Openly communicating to high-quality talent how you support pet parents is imperative. This will surely boost interest in job openings, attract great talent, and stay competitive.

Delight employees with Wagmo wellness benefits

With Wagmo wellness benefits, you can delight new and existing employees (and their pets). We offer traditional pet care coverage with a twist. Our pet wellness plans cover annual vet visits, flea and tick medication, routine blood work, vaccines, grooming, dental care, and more. Essentially, we pay employees back for their everyday pet care needs.

Our benefit plans require no wait times—so employees get reimbursed immediately. Wagmo pet health-care plans offer tangible support to those that need it the most. An effective way of letting pet parents know that your company cares.

Are you ready to learn more? Contact us today to sign up for a demo of Wagmo's employee pet benefits plan.