As any agency can attest, recruiting and retaining top talent can be a challenge. Job seekers are no longer swayed solely by a salary number. Instead, they’re considering your company’s culture, leadership style, flexibility, community involvement and other benefits, including parental leave.

When Gavin opened our doors in 2011, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to be an employer of choice in central Pennsylvania — a place that had the potential to pull talent from all over. Our goal has always been to meet the demands of the modern worker and provide a supportive workplace for team members to grow and build their professional careers with Gavin without having to sacrifice a strong home and family.

One lesson we’ve learned over the years is that progressive benefits are important for attracting and retaining top talent — especially at a small company like Gavin. While we’re a small business, we view our ability to offer progressive benefits a true competitive advantage in attracting talent that can help us fulfill our mission of Main Street giving Madison Ave a run for its money.

Investing in our people has a long-term positive effect on our bottom line, and we believe that this way of doing business is good for the big picture.

As the owner of a young business this size, and in a competitive industry that is in constant flux, I approached benefits with great caution. The financial investment is a big line item, with costs for the employer growing high and higher. But in a world of rapidly increasing job hopping, stressed family lives and employees trying to do it all while meeting the employer’s expectations, it became more and more clear that we needed to take the lead in how we approached our benefits.

We’re proud to be part of what we hope will be a movement that gains momentum, in continuing to expand our benefits and offerings as we grow.

This month, we shared with staff updates to our parental leave policy to offer up to 14 weeks’ maternity leave and 12 weeks’ paternity leave for full-time employees. At Gavin, we know that families come in all varieties, combinations and forms, and so our expanded parental leave benefits are offered to domestic partners, married partners and single parents for both birth and adoption.

Our policy is progressive, especially for companies our size. We make this commitment because we believe that supporting strong communities begins with supporting strong families, and our flexibility in doing so provides a platform for our company to succeed.

Others took notice of our approach and commitment. U.S. Senator Bob Casey hosted a press event at our office to highlight us as a progressive employer in the region as he reintroduced new legislation to support strong families and flexible work benefits.

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These benefits are in addition to our group health plan contribution (60%), short-term disability paid 100% by Gavin, and generous vacation packages, on top of office perks like free beer, mobile work spaces, regular free lunches, investments in training, and community involvement.

We hope that our commitment to demonstrating how what we do affects how strong our community can be will help others see the potential impact their benefits can have beyond the walls of the office.