It’s no secret that COVID has vastly changed the workforce. I joined Vestigo Ventures in a COVID-filled, work-from-home world. I was lucky enough to have met two of my coworkers a year and a half prior to joining, but met most of the team on a computer screen. The pandemic has changed what I look for and value when evaluating job opportunities.

While team culture and rapport matter significantly to me, I also highly value flexibility. The ability to work when and where I need to in a way that balances company and personal needs keeps me motivated and engaged. On top of that, an employer offering benefits that helps me further my own unique near- and long-term personal goals, whether that’s improving my 401K savings, health, or future family needs, creates an environment in which I feel valued as a human being.

We are seeing an explosion of companies in FinTech wanting to use the employee benefits channel for sales opportunities. Those that standout often survey the employee population and provide the expressed needs of their employee base. Offering student loan pay downs as an employee benefit from a firm like Vault would not be a good fit for a company of professionals who are baby boomers, but they may love pet insurance from a provider like Wagmo if they are filling the empty nest with furry friends.

We have seen financial planning tools that are useful for employees preparing for retirement or needing budget management. These companies can pull in their banking information to analyze and optimize their spending and saving trends. We know these are popular, especially when they include a review of recurring bills such as streaming service subscriptions, as a reminder to cancel unused services. For those who do live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to cover those impromptu emergency expenses, consider Cushion, a FinTech company that assists consumers with bill payment and refunds consumer’s bank and credit card fees automatically by connecting to your bank and negotiating with the banks directly on your behalf.

One of the more creative ideas we have seen is from a company named Challenger. It offers free banking to employees and includes about $300 of deposits to get them started. Since most Americans are unable to cover an impromptu emergency expense of $400, this could be a great benefit for the right employee population.

What we know about HR organizations is that they face a world of endless choices. Our best advice to them is to survey the employee population to determine where to start and expand on benefits. They have strong opinions and are happy to share them.

Even more important is to measure the impact of the benefits choices. Which benefits are impacting employee retention? Which benefits have a strong impact on new employee decisioning? We encourage all of our startups to be sure they are adding value to companies in this way. The more you measure impact, the more you are likely to make it happen.

We do worry that startups are starting to oversaturate the employee benefits space. There is not a limitless amount of capacity without overwhelming the employees. Does the startup truly bring a new idea to the space or is it a duplicated idea? It is an exciting time for human capital leaders to explore the vast new world of benefits. By focusing on impact, optimal recruiting and employee-retention, they can put together a compelling offering for a dynamic workplace.