My dad was a dentist. When he went to school they taught him a great deal about how to be an oral healthcare professional, not how to run a small business. Over time he found success in recruiting a successful team of committed individuals. Recruiting and selecting these individuals seemed like a time consuming and arduous process. However, when they stay with you for 30+ years (as some did) it is a huge savings.

Are you growing your team this year? Perhaps replacing someone who left your team? Recruiting can feel like the final straw for some people. At BBD, we know many small businesses in Canada operate with limited resources, making it all the more important they recruit and hire the right people, train them properly, and retain their staff while helping keep them healthy and well.

It’s not just about showing them the money

If you have recruited lately, you know there are more factors than just salary that get the right people in the door. While salary is a key factor, most job seekers today are putting increased value on benefits and other rewards as part of their overall compensation.

The Sanofi-Aventis Health Survey (2011) indicated when a group of employees were offered a choice between getting a $10,000 raise over health benefits, 59% voted to keep benefits. Considering that, if the majority values benefits at or above $10,000, a benefit program costing $2,500/employee/year could have a 400% return on investment in the eyes of those employees. In addition, the health insurance premiums on benefits are tax deductible as a business expense (and received tax free in the hands of the employee), making it an efficient means of compensation. In layman’s terms, that’s a win-win! If you already have a benefits plan, you may know the drill.

In addition, there are things beyond compensation. Include people in decisions, connect how their role is part of the bigger picture, and saying thank you are small from a cost perspective and large from a payoff perspective.

You get what you pay for

Of course, benefits are not free. As a small business owner, you may be worried about implementing a benefits program then not being able to sustain the cost of it. As a dental office you may see people using benefits incorrectly, or even irresponsibly. Today’s group benefits marketplace is all about flexibility and options, and many solutions help prevent plans from becoming too expensive.

It is also bigger than that. The real key is the opportunity to work with a committed group of individuals. When my sister was married recently, the whole dental team was there. It seemed right. 30 years can happen quickly.

Scott SouthwardScott Southward,
Managing Partner, Benefits by Design.
BBD is a group insurance and workplace solutions provider. Today, BBD administers over $75 million of premium for over 3,270 employers across Canada distributed through 795 advisors. See how businesses like yours can benefit from benefits at


  • Sam Vassa

    With a passion for technology, Sam looks for ways to help small companies to compete and save money. He's worked in Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada, geeked out at Digital Equipment Corp and hung out at Microsoft. He founded to help businesses like yours.