Change is coming for benefits brokers. With large companies adding benefits into their existing brokerage services, traditional benefits brokers are being challenged to find ways to demonstrate their unique value at a compatible price to these companies.
“The market is not business as usual,” writes Joe Markland, president and founder of HR Technology Advisors in an interesting article from Employee Benefits Adviser about investment and 401(k) giant Fidelity. Fidelity has now entered the benefit brokerage business, a shift which signals new market conditions that are driving employers to choose companies with centralized services. Fidelity is not alone – other companies such as Zenefits, Namely, and Gusto have begun offering benefits services as well, albeit from different market positions.
With the overwhelming amount of HR technology and benefits providers available, some employers are choosing to address their HR, benefits, financial counseling, or payroll needs with one simple, cost-efficient service. To avoid being displaced by these new entrants, Joe advises traditional benefits brokers “sell their ‘value’ with their price on the table relative to what these new entrants are providing, or start providing some of these new products and services that seem to be in greater demand. Think about a call center on nights and weekends.”
We couldn’t agree more. In an article from BenefitsPro, our founder and CEO Pete Yozzo highlights how simply one added service, e-learning, can help clients cut down on major costs through online training services. Benefits brokers can prove their worth to their clients by taking advantage of a number of added value services, such as an HR hotline, or as Joe suggests, a call center on nights and weekends. Ultimately, these efficient services make it difficult for clients to unwind from the benefits broker, further strengthening their competitive position in the marketplace.
Fidelity’s move to benefits brokerage spurs the need for traditional benefits brokers to tap new, indispensable resources that will win business and help them stay relevant in the midst of significant disruption.