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On the fringe of benefits

For more on our presentation of this year’s Best Companies To Work For, read the full feature article from the October 2015 issue of In Business magazine.

Historically, we’ve heard about how important it is for job seekers to make themselves more marketable to prospective employers. More recently, as worker shortages impact a variety of industries, business organizations feel the need to market themselves to prospective employees via their benefits package and corporate culture.

To illustrate how hard area employers are trying, here are some of the more creative and convenient benefits offered by area employers:

AccuLynx: Unlimited PTO time and the ability to bring children to the office for the day, if needed.

Agrace: Additional paid bereavement leave up to five days; spot bonuses for outstanding service (up to $1,000 each); and onsite dry cleaning pick-up/drop-off.

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause: Financially supports adoption up to $5,000 ($15,000 lifetime).

Boardman Clark law firm: The firm promotes healthy eating and nutrition through a voluntary “Biggest Loser” contest, which includes weekly challenges.

Centare: Paid parental, jury, and bereavement leave in addition to PTO; volunteer paid time off in addition to 28 days of PTO; and outdoor space to work (Wi-Fi reaches out there).

Employee Benefits Corp.: Under high-deductible health insurance plans, covered employees are provided with a health reimbursement arrangement that pays 80% of the deductible expense, which translates to a $400 deductible for single coverage.     

Epic: Provides sponsorship for employees to participate in sports activities (soccer fields on campus); displays all nutritional information for the food served in company cafeteria; creates campus walking maps of various distances; provides showers for those who want to ride their bikes to work or partake in other physical activity; offers four-week paid sabbaticals after each five years of service, and reimburses travel costs if employees travel out of U.S. during sabbatical; and allows staff to carry over unlimited sick leave balances, which can be used to cover maternity/paternity leaves, parent illnesses, and children’s illnesses.

Fish & Associates Inc.: Its 401(k) has a profit-sharing component; provides vacation vouchers and an extra week of vacation for extraordinary work effort; typically does not lay off workers during slower seasons and instead assigns tasks to keep employees on the payroll.

National Guardian Life Insurance Co.: Offers identity theft coverage free of charge; provides discretionary bonuses to recognize outstanding work and offers $50 “spotlight” bonuses for outstanding work.

PerBlue: Offers six-plus weeks of paid time off per year to all employees, including two extended company breaks when the office is closed for eight working days over Christmas and New Years.

PPD: Adoption assistance program.

QPS Employment Group: Offers up to $500 for a smoking-cessation program and a rewards program for employees to complete online health missions.

Safe Bridge Solutions: President and HR manager create 30 to 60 day health challenges designed to increase step activity and track personal health goals (i.e., drink 64 ounces of water per day, daily stretching, clean eating, and a variety of other personal goals).

Singlewire Software: Adoption assistance program reimburses eligible employees up to a maximum of $1,500 for qualified adoption expenses; full-time employees are eligible to participate in the commuter benefits program administered through WageWorks, allowing participants to pay in advance for mass transit and/or parking expenses with pretax dollars.

Sustainable Engineering Group: Green commute incentive — for every mile that employees either walk, run, or bike to work, the company donates $1 to the charity of their choice (capped at $400/year).

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