Employee Benefits To Look Out For When Job Hunting

If you’re looking for a new job, look beyond the income to locate the best employee benefits that can make you happier and wealthier. Pay is vital, but it is the benefits that make your job more enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a new job, look beyond the income to identify employee benefits that will make you happier and wealthier. Pay is vital, but it is the benefits that make your job more enjoyable.

A corporation may offer you a larger pay than its competitors, but at the expense of poorer perks. When you consider higher healthcare expenditures and a lesser 401(k) match, the larger paycheck may not provide the best value.

I was fortunate enough to receive three job offers the last time I was job seeking. The wages were within $5,000 of one another, but the benefits were not the same. I chose the firm with the best employee benefits package, and it proved to be the correct decision.

Employee Benefits To Look Out For When Job Hunting

Certain benefits can sometimes be negotiated, but others are defined by a plan document and cannot be adjusted for an individual employee. Here are some advantages to consider while comparing employment offers.

  • Retirement

If your potential job offers a retirement account, you may believe you’ve struck gold. Regrettably, this isn’t always the case.

These plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b), provide benefits that vary by company. Some charge large fees, resulting in lower returns, while others provide low-fee programs with excellent investing alternatives.

In my first job, I received a 3% contribution to my retirement plan regardless of whether I contributed money. However, another employment required me to set aside 6% of my salary in order to receive a 4% match. Understand how any matching funds can be generated before accepting an offer.

You should also be aware of the vesting procedure. Some organizations require you to work for a set amount of time before you are fully vested, whilst others provide immediate vesting.

  • Paid Time Off

This benefit is known by various names. It may be referred to as PTO, vacation, sick time, or paid leave.

When I changed jobs, I always tried to negotiate more vacation time. Even though it was against the established norm, I was frequently able to acquire an additional week of PTO beyond what each job gave. Firms may be unwilling to compromise on their formal paid leave benefits.

  • Bonuses, Raises, Or Overtime

It is critical to understand your entire compensation. You must comprehend how much you will be paid in addition to your salary or hourly rate.

Inquire about your eligibility for overtime. Overtime compensation for non-exempt employees is governed by legislation. Despite the fact that I was an exempt employee, which means I was not required to be paid overtime, my first job gave straight-time overtime to their salaried staff.

Bonuses and raises can have a significant impact on your total take-home earnings. Investigate pay potential on anonymous websites like as Glassdoor. You should also inquire about the hiring manager’s regular bonus and pay rise methods.

A company that pays a high starting wage but only delivers raises for major advancements may not be the greatest option. Another corporation that provides significant annual raises to the majority of its employees may result in better pay in the future.

  • Insurance

Employers may provide insurance for health, vision, dental, life, short-term disability, and long-term disability. Other types of insurance, such as pet insurance, may be available in exceptional circumstances.

Request the insurance plan documentation when comparing insurance options. This provides you an idea of what your insurance covers. Premiums, deductibles, providers, and coverage options may differ from one plan to the next.

Determine whether the company will subsidize the cost of the policy. The average civilian employer covers 67% of the cost of a family health insurance plan, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can result in significant savings.

While insurance isn’t negotiable, it’s important to understand what you’re getting.

  • Possibility Of Working From Home

More and more workplaces are providing the option to work from home. You may wish to skip going to the office to save time and money on commuting. Some people do better away from the workplace’s distractions.

Even human resource professionals recognize the advantages of remote employment.

  • Paid Training

If you have a professional license that needs continuous education, paid training can save you a lot of money. It may be offered to assist you in learning new skills or maintaining certifications relevant to your work.

As a CPA, I am required to complete 40 hours of continuing professional education each year in order to keep my license. My training was paid for by my public accounting firm employers, but when I moved to corporate accounting, I had to negotiate having my school expenditures covered.

  • Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement can benefit both employees and companies by allowing you to acquire a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Even yet, tuition reimbursement does not imply that you can study whatever you choose.

Make sure that you are aware of any payback or work restrictions linked with the benefit. If you leave before your agreement expires, you may be required to reimburse some costs.

  • Student Loan Assistance

As the student loan crisis worsens, more businesses are assisting with student loan repayment. To be eligible for a workplace program, you may need to meet specific qualifying conditions.

Programs may provide monthly, annual, or matching payments. Lifetime maximums on total payback amounts or program time limits are common.

  • Family Planning Benefits

Paid parental leave has recently gained popularity in the United States. In certain cases, the FMLA requires 12 weeks of unpaid absence, but no paid time off is necessary. Some progressive businesses are even helping with the costs of fertility treatment or adoption.

  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan

Through an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP), several organizations allow employees to acquire shares of the company’s stock. If you believe in the future of your company, these can be a terrific method to invest at a discount.

The programs have rigorous limits, but it is one option to receive additional income in the form of a lower stock price. Investing comes with tax implications.

I’ve never taken part in an ESPP. The industry in which I worked was not one in which I was interested in investing. Furthermore, I didn’t want to be concerned about my investment or my job if the firm encountered financial difficulties.

Employee Benefits That Set Businesses Apart

Traditional employee benefits provide valuable services, but forward-thinking companies are leaning toward providing fresh perks to make their employees’ life easier. Employees’ most significant benefits aren’t typically standard ones.

  • Tech Benefits

If you need to be available around the clock, you may be given the technology to do so. If not, the organization may provide you with a stipend to help you purchase equipment.

To save money, it may be tempting to use the equipment for personal use.

  • Pet-Friendly Policies

Pets are an important part of your life if you have fur kids instead of children. Employers are starting to understand this and may provide pet insurance or allow you to bring your pet to work.

  • Personal Health Benefits

Other than insurance, progressive companies have begun to provide health-related benefits. My first job featured a tiny gym in the facility that all employees could use.

Others may provide regular free or reduced services in the office, such as bringing in a massage therapist once a month.

  • Time Off For Volunteering

Organizations frequently enjoy giving back to their communities. One way they might accomplish this is by providing staff with time off to volunteer locally. However, your options may be limited to causes that your company supports.

If this benefit is essential to you, Bohler suggests inquiring about a designated volunteer program, if it includes company-sanctioned volunteering events, and how many hours you may be compensated to volunteer per year.

  • Free Meals

When certain workplaces provide this bonus, it is a sincere way to reward employees. Other companies may utilize this to entice you to work longer nighttime hours. Before presuming a perk is a benefit, consider the rationale behind it.

Final Thoughts

Before you sign your offer letter, find out the specifics of any employee benefit programs that are important to you. Before you commit, ask any questions you have.

When reading the policies, keep an eye out for promises or hidden disadvantages. After getting tuition reimbursement, you may be forced to stay with the organization for three years.

Try to bargain with the employer if a vital employee perk isn’t offered or isn’t as powerful as you’d want. If a competing offer has better benefits, you may be able to earn an extra week of PTO or a 2% raise.

Remember that a job is more than just a paycheck. When regarded as a whole, the best employee benefits can result in a significantly different remuneration package.

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