HRE’s Number of the Day: mental health benefits

43: Percentage of recruiters who report that job seekers are inquiring about mental health benefits more frequently since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis

Recruiters today are getting more inquiries about mental health benefits, accommodations and flexibility for working parents, as well as COVID-19 safety protocols, according to a new survey of recruiters by Jobvite, a recruiting software firm. Specifically, more than four in 10 recruiters say job seekers are inquiring more about mental health benefits since the onset of the pandemic.

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Mental health–and along with it, available benefits and resources–have risen to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because the pandemic and its associated challenges have taken a drastic toll on employees’ mental health: Rates of depression, anxiety, burnout and stress have all increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

As a result, a growing number of employers have rolled out or expanded mental health benefits–and employees have begun to prioritize these offerings, even as they look for new job opportunities.

“The rise in inquiries about mental health benefits is not surprising, given how hard the pandemic has been on workers and job seekers,” says Brianne Thomas, head of recruiting at Jobvite. “The pandemic has caused a drastic increase in stress levels throughout the American workforce, especially for working parents who are juggling work while also caring for their children.”

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The finding from Jobvite is the latest to put emphasis on the importance of mental health resources. Thomas says employers need be strategic regarding holistic mental health and wellness benefits in an effort to help decrease the amount of stress that workers are feeling right now as a result of the pandemic. “Leaders also have an opportunity to increase employees’ awareness of existing mental health and wellness benefits and provide ideas to best leverage them at this time,” she says. “While these offerings in the end won’t be the fix for stressed-out employees, employers prioritizing mental health benefits will hopefully offer a sense of relief to employees during this difficult time.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.