Bethany Radloff has a unique challenge compared to many of her colleagues in the employee benefit adviser space. The eight-year industry veteran serves the Madison, Wis., region where the 2.3% unemployment rate is about half the national average. Employers in south and south central Wisconsin are scrambling to find and retain workers.

This is where the 29-year-old assistant vice president of employee benefits for HUB International Midwest and EBA 2018 Rising Star in Advising comes in to serve her mostly manufacturing and food and hotel industry clients.

Bethany Radloff
Bethany Radloff

“The most important thing that we're talking about is how can we get more competitive, how can we become more attractive to these employees and then how can we keep them?” she says.

Radloff says that some blue collar and service industry workers will leave their $10 an hour jobs for an extra 25 cents an hour in pay, regardless of the great culture or array of employee benefits.

“In those cases, those employers are usually engaging our human capital consulting team to really hone in on doing compensation surveys because with how low unemployment has been, wages are rising dramatically,” she says. “Doing a comp survey every three years isn't going to cut it anymore because that data is changing rapidly and these employers need to be moving quickly if they're going to remain competitive.”

While other advisers are setting up high-deductible health plans for their employer clients, Radloff’s area has a heavy HMO presence. Local employers typically offer health coverage with very low $500 deductible and $20 doctor and prescription co-pays. This means that her clients are not overly interested in data transparency tools.

Still, keeping costs down is important to her client base, which includes Infinity Foods, division of McCain Foods, S&L Hospitality, bike manufacturer Saris Cycling Group and Wisco Hotels Group.

“Most of our employers tend to be more paternalistic, but at the end of the day you have to fit within a budget. You're working with the CFO so it's all about that balance,” she says.

Client-facing

Radloff, who is expecting her first child in March and will be on maternity leave for a good portion of 2018, clearly has the support of her superiors at HUB.

“Bethany quickly recognizes what is important to her clients both externally and internally. She has a unique ability to deliver results that meets her client objectives but maximizes their return on their healthcare spend,” says August Felker, President & CEO at HUB International Wisconsin. “She has strong leadership qualities that successfully inspire her HUB teammates to work at a high level for their joint clients. Her organizational skills has allowed her to continue to expand her book of clients at a rapid pace while maintaining an aggressive schedule of Professional Development and Industry Education.”

When asked where she sees herself in five years, Radloff hopes to stay in Wisconsin and working with her clients while growing her $1.1 million book of business.

“I love being client-facing. My favorite part of my job is going out and meeting with clients and determining what I can do to help them, so ideally I really want to stay client facing,” she says. “Madison, Wis., is my community and this is where I want to be and I think there's a lot of employers who need people who are asking different questions and are bringing new ideas to them.”

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