More and more, small businesses are finding themselves moving into a multi-state employment model well ahead of actually operating facilities in multiple states. Recruitment professionals have realized for the better part of a decade that finding the best and brightest talent often means working with employees who telecommute into work while maintaining a home office in a far-flung destination. That provides a lot of competitive edge for a small company because effective employees are employees that help you grow. Still, it can complicate your choices about health benefits and other aspects of employee compensation.

For small businesses with remote employees, the best ways to get cost-effective care tend to be the same as for larger companies. That means trying to shop for a national health care plan, working with benefits providers to ensure employee needs are adequately covered, and sometimes supplementing that with local options if they are cost-effective. That kind of approach requires a regular review of the plans you offer and the costs of competing plans on the local and national stages, but if you want to provide the best benefits possible in the way that best preserves your bottom line, you’ll need to dedicate the employee resources to that research.

It all starts with a survey of your employees’ needs. You can’t begin to choose health benefits that will really help them be healthier if you don’t know what kind of coverage they want to be prioritized. You’ll need to survey employees in your local workforce and remotely together, to see if you can meet those needs with a single national plan. If you can’t, your remote employees could wind up with a totally different benefits overhead cost than your other employees, and that could incentivize your hiring practices toward or against more remote recruits. If you’re serious about making sure you find the best talent possible, though, you’ll need to stay open to recruits who can’t relocate. That means you’ll need to have a working plan for their health benefits and other perks of employment.