How to Find a Family-Friendly Employer
Family-friendly employers are those that offer benefits to support your ability to care for responsibilities at home. Often, these benefits center around the needs of working parents, but family-friendly benefits can also help those trying to start a family or who need to care for ageing parents.
If you’re like most American workers, then you value family-friendly benefits over more expensive benefits and even increased pay. The good news is the vast majority (70%) of companies are realizing that they must offer family-friendly benefits if they want to attract and retain top talent.
However, knowing you want to work for a family-friendly employer is one thing. Finding a family-friendly employer is another.
6 Tips to Help Identify a Family-Friendly Employer
1. Check popular lists
There is no shortage of lists put out by reputable publications ranking companies based on their family-friendly benefits. Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Parents, and The Best Companies to Work for if You’re a Parent, from www.parents.com are just two popular examples. A simple search on Google will help you find other lists just like those.
2. Read reviews
Sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Vault give you access to reviews from current and former employees of almost any firm you can think of. Many of those reviews can give a good indication of what work-life balance was like at a certain company. Just be sure to read a wide selection of reviews. Don’t let one scathing review from a disgruntled worker form your opinion—especially if most of the other reviews are positive.
3. Look closely at leadership
Read the bios of a company’s executives on LinkedIn or the firm’s website. Do the bios mention family, hobbies, or favorite vacation spots? If so, that’s a sign the company values work-life balance.
4. Go on a stakeout
Drive over to the company around 5:00 pm and just sit in the parking lot. Do you see employees coming out? Or does the parking lot remain suspiciously full past the typical quitting time. This is a bit stalker-ish, but it can reveal what the company expects from their workers.
5. Talk to your network
Ask those in your professional network if they feel they’re working for a family-friendly employer. Why or why not? Find out if they know any family-friendly employers in your industry.
6. Beware of on-site benefits
Some employers may tout benefits such as an on-site gym, dry cleaner, barber, chair massages, and/or free snacks and lunch. Benefits like these are not bad in and of themselves. Admittedly, they are “nice-to-have” perks. But an investment in these types of benefits in lieu of family-supportive benefits sends a subtle message to employees that there’s no need for employees to leave the campus. In fact, life is more convenient and fun at the office.
How to Ask About Family-Friendly Benefits in an Interview
If you land an interview, then you’ll want to ask questions about family-friendly benefits. Just be careful how you phrase your questions.
Asking “is this company family-friendly?” isn’t a great way to start. It can leave your interviewer feeling defensive. Asking “will I be able to leave at 5:00 every day?” isn’t a good idea. That will leave your interviewer feeling like you might not be interested in working hard.
Here are a few questions that you can ask instead:
- What traits make a person successful in this company?
- Can you describe what the company culture is like?
- What’s the rhythm to the workday?
- What do you like about working here? What keeps you coming back each day?
- What is the company’s policy on remote work arrangements or flexible hours?
The answers to these open-ended questions will give you a great deal of insight into what a particular company’s culture is like.
Listen for words or phrases like “we hustle, we grind, you’ll be busy all day, we stay until the job gets done, face-time is important, we all multi-task, no one really takes a lunch.” This indicates an employer that values productivity over everything else.
On the other hand, if the interviewer mentions words or phrases such as “work-life balance, flexible, teamwork, the people are great, downtime is important, leadership is understanding,” then you may have found a family-friendly employer.
Also, when you are on the interview, notice if there are pictures of families on worker’s desks or artwork from children displayed in cubicles and offices. The more of this type of décor you see, the more likely it is that the company fosters a family-friendly environment.
What Family-Friendly Benefits Can I Expect?
In order to attract top talent, companies are starting to offer a wide range of family-friendly benefits beyond health insurance for family members, such as:
Many employers are covering fertility treatments for LGBTQ+ employees and workers choosing to have children later in life.
About 45% of employers currently offer benefits to offset the costs of adoption and that percentage is expected to rise.
It’s relatively rare, but some employers will reimburse employees who choose to have a child through a surrogate.
Also known as sperm or egg freezing, some employers will cover the costs of cryopreservation prior to an employee receiving cancer treatment that may cause infertility. Other employers will cover the costs of cryopreservation if an employee wants to freeze their eggs or sperm before undergoing gender-affirming surgery.
New mother services
These include a dedicated room for new mothers to pump and store breast milk and mental health services for new mothers who are coping with post-partum depression.
Paid parental leave
This benefit refers to parents having paid time off to care for a new child that comes to the family through natural birth, adoption, or fostering. Keep in mind that a company may offer benefits above and beyond what is required by federal or state law, so be sure to talk with your human resources contact to ensure you maximize these benefits.
Paid caregiving leave
Employers are recognizing that employees may need time off from work to care for people other than their children, such as a parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or other relative. Again, federal and state laws (in some states) are in place to provide job security and a portion of pay while you are on caregiving leave. Be sure to speak with your employer or an employment attorney to understand your rights.
Some employers offer day care services on site or offer referrals to local daycare centers and subsidize the costs. Other employers provide an “emergency” service where you can access childcare if your typical plan for childcare gets disrupted.
Mental health services
Companies may offer on-site mental health services or referrals to mental health professionals and addiction treatment programs in the area.
Legal aid services
Access to lawyers in your vicinity who will work at a discounted rate to help with transactional legal services.
These benefits can start with offering employees the opportunity to participate in a 401(K), which is pretty basic, and expand to include college savings programs, student loan repayment subsidies, and access to licensed financial professionals for budgeting and investment advice.
Paid bereavement leave
Most employers provide a 3-day bereavement leave due to the loss of a parent, spouse, or immediate family member. In addition, however, some employers are offering employees bereavement leave for the death of an extended family member and miscarriage.
You Can Find an Employer Who Puts Families First
Today’s employers know that offering family-friendly benefits helps them attract more productive and loyal employees. There’s never been a better time for you to find a job that supports you in caring for your family and personal obligations.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.