If you’re new to your career, or just starting out, you’re likely not thinking about how important benefits are in your choice of company. You’re applying to places that will give you great experience to put you one step closer to your dream job or places that will offer you a great salary! While those are excellent considerations, what a company offers is much more comprehensive than just salary or experience.
This one usually comes to mind first when you think of a benefits package. A company typically has a contract with an insurance provider, and you are given a choice of plans to choose from – medical, dental, vision, and life insurance are the most common. Companies will also share in the monthly cost, so you aren’t paying the full premium for the insurance every month. Make sure you ask how much the company typically shares in medical premiums per month – that will make a huge difference in your paycheck! Think of your insurance needs now and in the future. A company with a solid medical plan that also shares the cost of the monthly premium can be a game changer.
Vacation and Personal Days
This is another big consideration of a benefits package and everyone’s needs are different. Ask if vacation days accrue throughout the year or if they are given up front. Do you lose the days you don’t use? Do they rollover to the next year, or does the company offer other compensation for those days not used?
Some companies offer paid time-off outside of your typical vacation, personal and holidays. These “extra” paid leaves can be volunteer days, family leave, parental leave and so much more. Take time to understand those “extra” paid leave policies the company might have!
Most companies offer a 401(k), or similar investment plan, that helps you set aside a certain amount of your salary toward retirement. Some companies will even contribute to your retirement fund in the form of matching your contribution. At GROWMARK, we also have a robust pension benefit that impacts our retirement income in a huge way. GROWMARK contributes to our 401(k) but also provides a pension, which is a monthly benefit received at retirement for our lifetime. It’s a retirement account we don’t contribute a dime too, and the benefit is based off our salary and eligible time at GROWMARK. Check with the employer you’re considering see if they offer a pension and how it could impact your retirement income. This benefit could outweigh a competing offer with a higher salary.
This is probably not something you’d consider as part of a benefits package, but if you’re looking to build new skills and forge great work relationships, don’t overlook this! As a GROWMARK employee, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in social media branding, writing, and even leadership workshops. Trainings like these keep you sharp and help you develop new skills, so be sure to check if the company has a training and development program in place.
Pursuing higher education with a full-time position can be stressful and extremely expensive, but there are plenty of companies that offer reimbursement for all or part of your tuition. This could apply to standalone courses and workshops or enrollment at a college or university.
While it’s more common for larger companies to offer tuition reimbursement, smaller companies may offer aid such as a more flexible schedule. Just make sure to research the company’s policies on this benefit because it’s possible you may only be reimbursed for courses related to your field of work.
This may not be applicable for everyone, but if you’re planning to accept an offer that would require you to move, it’s important to know if that company will cover any portion of your moving expenses such as transportation or temporary housing. Even if it hasn’t been mentioned in an interview or offer letter, it’s important to ask what their capability is in this area.
A company has the potential to offer so much more than just a salary or experience! So, before you accept an offer, consider all their benefits package has to offer. If you need tuition reimbursement or a more flexible schedule, take some time with the recruiter or hiring manager to discuss what else the company may be able to provide. This could make a huge difference in your choice of jobs!
By: Abbey Lee, Recruiting Specialist with Marissa Williams, Benefits Communication & Education Specialist