3 Tips for Hiring Great Millenials

How do you attract great Millennials to work at your company? We share three key tips.


Avocado toast. Selfies. Ruining beloved cultural institutions.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about hiring great prospects.

Wait, I thought this article was about Millennials?

It is. The thing is, hiring great Millennials isn’t any different than hiring for any other generation. No two people are alike, and when you start hiring for demographics, rather than individuals, you start to lose sight of what makes them tick.


On generational divides

People love to discuss generational tendencies as though they broadly apply to everyone. Doing so allows them to join a team, to become part of an ingroup—Baby Boomer versus Millennial, Gen X versus obscurity, Gen Z versus them all.

Thing is, these designations aren’t super helpful for hiring.

Cultural shifts will occur over time as workplace trends ebb and flow. And, sure, many young people may have different working styles and expectations than their older peers. They may value different things. But every person comes to the bargaining table with lived experience in tow. Find something that’s broadly appealing, and you’ll attract more Millennials—along with everyone else.

If you try to woo young people superficially without understanding how to meet their needs as people, you’ll always encounter a disconnect.

That said, if you’re looking to hire great new team members—including Millennials—here are three valuable tips:


#1: Get benefits your team love

Understand where Millennials are coming from. Many entered the job market in the depths of the recession. Chances are, they know someone who used an online fundraiser to pay medical bills. That’s why material stability is a big selling point for young workers.

When you offer a high quality healthcare package, you are ticking one worry off their anxiety checklist.

Millennials are now in their late-20s and early-30s. Nearly all Millenials aren’t covered on a parent’s healthcare plan anymore. Many others are starting families of their own. They value the stability that quality healthcare and benefits provide. 

Workplace wellness starts with good healthcare. That’s not everything, though. A lot of companies offer voluntary benefits programs—dental, fitness club memberships, student loan repayment assistance, pet insurance, or financial wellness programs—to protect the wealth and health of their employees.

Showing employees you care about their wellbeing by offering more than the minimum required healthcare coverage will make your company appeal to all generations (including Millennials).


#2: Upgrade your work culture

When a lot of people think of the “Millennial workplace,” they think ping pong tables, nap rooms, vegan snacks, and so on. While a lot of startups do use these perks to attract talent, the companies that attract and keep young workers do so because they focus on culture. 

Surprisingly enough, one thing Millennials tend to like is strong performance management. They tend to excel when given clear expectations, boundaries, and feedback.

A lot of the nonsense about Millennials expecting “hand-holding” management really boils down to managers who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to communicating project context, expectations, and goals.

When communicating job responsibilities and performance to your employees—regardless of age—use clear guidelines and metrics. Setting clear goals, communicating expectations and having regular follow up can go a long way.


#3: Be transparent, always. 

Transparency can go a long way too. During the interview process, prospects—including Millennials—will be assessing how transparent your company is. In fact, “90% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency”, according to Glassdoor.

But what does that mean for the hiring process? On the one hand it means not selling your potential hires on a false bill of goods. If you expect employees to work more than 40 hours a week, be upfront and make that apparent before they’re hired. Don’t sell them on their ability to work remotely if you know that coming into the office is necessary for their success and yours.

On the other hand, part of being transparent simply means being a good community leader—using honesty, patience, and open communication when engaging with others. Make sure that you’re telling the truth–even if it’s a bit unattractive–as dishonesty and lack of transparency is what drives prospects away, including Millennials.

What's the take away? At the end of the day, hiring great Millennials isn’t all that different than hiring great people from other generations. When demand for top talent is high, offering great benefit incentives, a sound culture, and transparent communications can make all the difference, no matter the generation.

Voluntary Benefits: A Winning Strategy for Employee Retention

Learn about the power of voluntary benefits as an employer differentiator and its impact to meet real employee health, wellness and financial needs.

In today’s competitive workplace, employee benefits have never played a more important role than they do now.

Why? Because the workplace is changing.

  • Low unemployment in Hawaii makes it hard to attract and retain workers, especially when employers can't afford to increase wages.
  • With wages relatively flat, and costs of living continuing to rise, two-thirds of Americans would struggle to cover a $1,000 crisis, according to one study.
  • And with Generation Z entering the workforce in a big way, today's teams are becoming more multi-generational than ever before—all with unique needs and preferences.

So what are local employers (and their employees) to do? Enter voluntary benefits.

With voluntary benefits, you can offer your teams real value and meet real needs—all at little to no cost. By beefing up your voluntary benefits you can also differentiate yourself from other employers. So how do voluntary benefits work? Let's dig in.

What are voluntary benefits?

Think of voluntary benefits as complementary to traditional health insurance. Many employers have been offering voluntary benefits for years, traditionally in the form of supplemental medical insurance e.g. critical illness, cancer care, accidental injury etc. Other benefits protect employees’ financial well-being, like 401(k) retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, and life insurance.

As these plans have grown in popularity, the number and variety of voluntary benefits available has expanded. Today, employers are offering a wide range of modern products, including financial counseling, concierge medicine, student loan repayment programs, elder care, and even pet insurance.

How does it work? Typically voluntary benefits are offered through employers to their employees at group rates. Employees select benefits that best meet their needs and budget, and pay for these benefits partially or in full through payroll deferrals.

Employees have spoken: Voluntary benefits matter. 

Employees have spoken loud and clear that these benefits matter to them,

  • 85% of employees surveyed saw a growing need for voluntary benefits, according to a recent Aflac's WorkForces Report.
  • 6 out of 10 employees said they would take a job with lower pay if it offered better benefits, according to the same study.

Employers also agree: Five years ago 41% would have said that voluntary benefits have little importance to their employee value proposition and benefits strategy. That percentage has shrunk to only 5% in 2018, according to one survey.  So while these opt-in benefits may be voluntary for employees, they’re becoming less and less so for employers.

A win-win for employers and employees

With voluntary benefits, you can protect your employees health & wellness and financial health from the unexpected things that life brings along—all while earning loyalty and trust along the way, at relatively low costs.

    • Health & wellness. Rising health care costs and high-deductible plans are leaving more people underinsured. Voluntary benefits can close that gap and help employees make sure they have the coverage they need, so they aren’t stuck with medical bills they can’t afford. Look at supplemental health and wellness plans, such cancer care, hospitalization, and critical illness insurance, as well as Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) to meet employees’ top concerns.
    • Financial health. Today financial wellness products are one of the hottest trends in voluntary benefits, with 60% of employees using financial wellness benefits when they’re offered. Programs like Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), commuter benefits, and student loan repayment can make an immediate difference to your employees’ bottom line, while long-term care insurance, 401(k), life, accident, and cancer insurance protects their savings from a catastrophic loss.
    • Quality of life. In addition to the big categories, other voluntary benefits can improve employees’ quality of life. Pet insurance, identity theft protection, and even divorce insurance are some of the products employers are offering to address their employees’ concerns.

The power of a benefits partner

When you work with an HR partner like ProService Hawaii, not only do you get access to quality health plans at competitive rates, you also get connected to voluntary benefits that help you retain talent, and attract new ones.

At ProService Hawaii, we provide a wide variety of voluntary benefits from retirement plans and student loan repayment programs, to voluntary benefits that support your team’s health, wealth, and lifestyle too.

Not only do you get powerful benefits—you'll also get expert support from real local people who're passionate about helping employers and their teams succeed in Hawaii. Tell us what you need—we'll show you how we can help.

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii


Employer’s Guide to Open Enrollment

Succeeding in business starts with building the right team. In Hawaii’s competitive job market, employers need to be attractive to employees just as potential hires must appeal to employers.

The result? Competitive employee benefits have never been more important. A large component of that is health care. The other important piece is voluntary benefits, of which 85% of employees see as increasingly important, according to a recent study. 

In terms of health care, the challenge is that navigating open enrollment for health plans isn’t always a clear cut process, and yet, it’s an important step toward taking care of your team in the upcoming year.

To help clear the air, in this article we’ll explain what open enrollment means, how it works, and what you can expect.

What is open enrollment?

Once a year, your health care provider reviews your policy and determines pricing for the coming year. That renewal period is what most people refer to as open enrollment. During open enrollment, health care providers roll out their updated rates and offerings for the coming year, and you have a chance to select the best plans for you and your employees.

Why does it happen every year?

Circumstances change, for providers, employers, and employees too.

  • On the provider side, open enrollment is the time to make sure plans are staying compliant with new local and federal rules and regulations. It's also a time to adjust prices for inflation, and reassess risk.
  • For employers like you, it’s your chance to look at how your organization may have changed in the past year, and adjust your offerings accordingly. For example, if you added a new layer of management this year, you may want to review and adjust your benefit groups and their offerings for next year.
  • Finally, open enrollment is also a time when employees can reassess their own needs, and select the plans and coverage that makes the most sense for them and their families. They’ll have the opportunity to switch plans, add a dependent, or opt out if needed.

What's the process like?

Open enrollment is a multi-stage process:

  1. Providers evaluate current plans. Long before it gets to you, providers kick off the open enrollment process by evaluating their prices and services, and determining what adjustments to make to their current plans. Factors that go into price increases include inflation, rising health care costs, and new prescription drugs.
  2. Employers review their options and choose their plans. Once you receive your plan options, if you're happy with your rates and coverage and want to keep changes to a minimum, you can renew your plans for the upcoming year.But if a different plan would
    better suit your company’s current needs, this is your opportunity to make any adjustments to your offering. At the same time, you can decide how much you will contribute toward the cost of each policy, and what the employee’s share of the cost will be.
  3. Open enrollment for employees begin. After your select your employee offerings, it's now their time to choose their health insurance plans and coverage for the next year. Employees can renew their current plan, or switch to a plan that best fits their current situation and budget. This is also their opportunity to select any voluntary benefits they'd like to utilize in the next year like 401(k) retirement plans, or Flexible Spending Accounts, for example. 
  4. Selections are finalized and new coverage beings. Once employee selections are completed, they're enrolled in the plans they chose, and coverage begins on the date stated by the insurance provider.

When is open enrollment? 

The timing of open enrollment depends on your insurance provider. If you provide your employees with health benefits through a PEO like ProService Hawaii,  you’re part of a larger health insurance policy. That means the policy will renew at the same time each year, not the anniversary of when you joined.

At ProService Hawaii, open enrollment for employers typically begins in mid-August to mid-September, with employers selecting their plans by late-September to early October. The deadline for employees to make their selection is early November, with all coverage beginning January 1.

What steps can I take to prepare?

As an employer, you play an active role in the open enrollment process. Here are some steps you can take to prepare.

  • Start by learning about your employees’ needs. You can use an employee survey to get information on their health and financial needs, or solicit feedback about your current health plan offerings, and what voluntary benefits they’d like access to in the upcoming year.
  • Understand your needs and prepare a budget. A significant part of open enrollment is setting your goals and budget for the next year. Planning ahead will help you decide which plans make sense for you and your team.
  • Match your needs to available plan options. Now that you have your priorities for the next year, you can review available plans and rates for the next year to assess which ones best meet your needs and budget.
  • Communicate with your employees. Once you’ve selected your plans, let your employees know about their upcoming open enrollment. Make sure they know that their selection is important—e.g. barring a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, or the birth or death of child, they'll have to stick with the options they select until the next open enrollment period.
  • Finally, keep important dates and deadlines top-of-mind. Give yourself, and your employees, plenty of time to complete the process.

The power of partnership 

Open enrollment is something every employer has to deal with. Whether your top priority in the new year is attracting & retaining talent with diverse benefits, or getting the most competitive rates on the local market—an HR partner like ProService Hawaii can help.

With a partner like us, you get:

  • All the building blocks necessary to create a competitive benefit package. From health plans and retirement plans, to voluntary benefits that support your team’s health, wealth, and lifestyle too.
  • Competitive rates to meet your budget. With 36,000+ worksite employees, we leverage our group's buying power to negotiate the most competitive local rates, with trusted providers you and your employees can depend on.
  • Local expertise, every step of the way.  As a ProService partner—not only do you get powerful benefits—you get expert support from real local people who're passionate about helping employers and their teams succeed in Hawaii.

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii.

The Basics of Health Insurance: What Your Employees Need to Know

It’s important to educate your employees about health insurance. In this article, we’ll explain some healthcare basics you need to know.

It’s important to educate your employees about health insurance, especially during open enrollment season. Once you’ve selected your employee health plans for the new year, you should educate your team about any plan changes and walk them through their options.

A big part of helping employees understand their health insurance options is knowing how coverage works, and having the right words to talk about it. These health insurance basics can help employees choose the insurance coverage that best meets their needs, and manage their family's health care expense with better accuracy.

But if they're confused about what a deductible is, they're not alone. A 2016 survey found that only 50% of people could define “deductible,” and just 36% correctly identified a single health insurance term.

Don’t worry: explaining health insurance is easier than you think—plus we're here to help.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the lingo, and cover the basic points you and your employees need to know. 

Who's eligible for health insurance?

The federal government requires employers to provide health insurance for some employees, but Hawaii’s laws go even further. Under the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act, employees who work at least 20 hours per week for four consecutive week are eligible for health insurance coverage by their employer.

However, a few groups are excluded from that requirement. This includes insurance and real estate salespeople paid on commission, seasonal agricultural workers, and people working for family members. Once employees become eligible for coverage, benefits kick in on the first day of the following month.

If employees want to opt-out of their employer’s health insurance (e.g. if their insurance is already being covered by a spouse), they need to fill out an HC-5 form every year.

When can employees sign-up?

Employees can sign up for, or make a change to their health insurance benefits after they complete the initial eligibility period, or during their employer’s annual open enrollment period.

Outside of those eligibility windows, they can change or sign up for a plan within 30 days of a significant life event, like marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a covered family member, or a change in a spouse’s work status that affects benefits coverage.

What goes into the cost of health insurance?

One of employees’ biggest concerns is how much their health insurance is going to cost. In general, employees share the cost of health care services with their employer and the plan they select. But it’s not always a simple equation. There are several different costs that go into the total expense of health care.

Let’s break them down:

  • Monthly Premium. This is the monthly fee for your health insurance plan. In Hawaii, the employer must pay at least half of the premium, as long as the employee's share of the cost is no more than 1.5% of their wages.
  • Deductible. This is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance plan kicks in and starts to cover the cost of your medical services.
  • Copay. A copay, or copayment, is the predetermined fee you have to pay for certain services or medical visits. Copays do not count toward your deductible, but they do count toward your out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum. The out-of-pocket maximum is a cap on the total amount you will have to pay on medical bills in a calendar year. Once you reach the cap, your insurance provider will cover 100% of your medical costs from then on.
  • Coinsurance. This is the insurance company’s share of your medical bill (after your deductible has been met). If your plan provides for 80% coinsurance, that means your insurance provider will pay for 80% of the cost, and you’ll be responsible for the remaining 20%.
  • Care not covered by insurance. If a test, procedure or medication is not covered by your insurance plan, you may need to pay for it yourself.

What plan should they choose?

There is no one type of plan that is best for everybody. The key is to select a health insurance plan that meets their specific needs.

In most cases, they'll be choosing between and HMO and a PPO.

  • What’s an HMO? A Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is a one-stop-shop that provides all the coverage you need through a single network of doctors and hospitals. HMOs often require members to select a primary care physician (PCP) who acts as a “gatekeeper” to direct access to medical services. Except in medical emergency situations, patients need a referral from the PCP in order to see a specialist or other doctors.
  • What’s a PPO? A PPO , or Preferred Provider Organization, is an organization of medical doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who have agreed to provide health care at reduced rates to an insurer's or administrator's clients. With a PPO, you have the flexibility to select your own physicians and health care providers both in-network and out-of-network, based on your individual preferences.

How can ProService Hawaii help? 

By working with an HR partner like ProService Hawaii, employers can access better health insurance plans at lower cost, resulting in a savings for both themselves and their employees. With access to a wide variety of modern voluntary benefits, you'll be able to offer your team benefits they love and value that helps retain your best talent. And if you're getting questions about copays, deductibles or monthly premiums, you can always forward them this blog post!

Want to learn more? Download our free ebook: The Benefits of HR Partnerships in Hawaii