Evaluating the Importance of Employee Benefits

So you just got done jumping up and down after the hiring manager from your last interview called to say you nailed it and they are offering you the job, when you sit at your computer and open your email to find that another hiring manager is offering you a position with the other company you interviewed at last week!  Lucky you!  Now the fun part comes: your big decision!  But how will you choose?

Whether you are one of the incredibly fortune few who have multiple job offers sitting on your plate, or you are already employed but considering a career change, or you are unemployed and surfing through jobs that peak your interest, no matter what your situation, it is important for you to evaluate the ENTIRETY of a job when making employment decisions.

So how DO potential employees evaluate a position before deciding to take it?  The truth is, it varies on the person, where they are at in their life, their values, their personality, etc.  A mother with 3 kids might value an insurance package and paid time off the most, while a competitive individual might value advancement potential more.  It is safe to say that the first thing that many employees look at is the salary.  But the truth is, it is not ALL about the Benjamins, and it is crucial to take a hard look at everything the position offers, from a flexible schedule to continued education options to having a Starbucks in the building.  What is most important to YOU?  Only you can decide!

Below is some additional information from an About.com article on employee benefits.  Remember, the first step to discerning if a job is right for you is taking a good hard look at yourself, where you are, where you want to go, and what makes you happy.  If a six figure salary won’t compensate for you having to spend months traveling and living out of a suitcase, it is important to distinguish this before accepting the job!  Taking ample time to evaluate your wants, needs, and expectations of a position will render you much more satisfied and happy in the long run.

Typical Employee Benefit Packages
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average number of annual paid holidays is 10. The average amount of vacation days are 9.4 after a year of service. Almost half the (medium and large) employers surveyed offered either a defined benefit or a defined contribution pension plan. About 75% offered health insurance but, almost as many, required some employee contribution towards the cost. It’s not hard to look at the averages and see how your employer or your job offer measures up. What complicates matters is the increasing use of bonuses, perks and incentives by employers to recruit and retain employees. Look at the companies rated the best places to work and you’ll discover many offer health club memberships, flexible schedules, day care, tuition reimbursement, and even on-site dry cleaning.
Surveys by Ceridian have found 65 percent of employers believe that perks help to attract employees. The average number of perks offered by companies range from 3.38 perks at the smallest employers to 5.20 perks at firms with over 5000 employees. A sure sign that employers are paying attention to the importance of added benefits is the fact that the most frequently offered perks mirror the most frequently desired perks – casual dress and flexible work hours. Some companies even offer a few options that I wasn’t aware of on the list including bringing your pet to work, concierge services and take home meals.
How to Evaluate Perks
As you can see there is no standard list of perks that you can measure your job offer against. What you’ll need to do is evaluate each offer on it’s merits – the salary, the benefits and the perks, and determine how those perks will benefit you. If you don’t plan on having children for a while or if your children are grown, it’s not that important whether on-site child care is offered. Parents should check to see if the company provides paid time-off if your child is sick.
If you absolutely have to work-out every day, look for employers who offer a gym membership. Not a morning person? Ask about flexible hours. Can’t stand wearing a suit? Ask about dress code. And it is important to ask, not all perks will be offered to all employees nor will they be mentioned during an interview. Consider which perks would complement your life style and your needs and choose accordingly.http://jobsearch.about.com/od/salary/a/benefitperk.htm

2 thoughts on “Evaluating the Importance of Employee Benefits

  1. Very good point! I focused mainly on potential job seekers, but you are entirely right– benefits are just as important in keeping your current employees satisfied as it is in attracting them to the position in the first place. Thanks for the post!

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