When you’re interested in a new role, you immediately want to know what the job pays. But evaluating the company's employee benefits is also critical to determining if an employment situation is right for you.
For example, after assessing the financial components of a new opportunity, you should next seriously evaluate the company’s employee benefits and culture so you clearly understand what’s on the table. This knowledge puts you in a strong position to negotiate for what you want after you receive an offer.
Financial considerations come first
Savvy job seekers know that compensation comes in more ways than just a paycheck. The first rule for assessing the money component is to know your own bottom line. Being clear about your minimum pay requirement helps you quickly eliminate roles that simply don’t pay enough.
Having a clear bottom line also helps you evaluate jobs that may have lower opening salaries but which offer other types of compensation, such as commissions, equity, bonuses, or other employee benefits that offset your expenses.
Consider these items when assessing the financial aspect of a potential role:
Besides having clarity on your bottom line, it’s imperative to know if the company pays a fair wage for the position you’re considering. When discussing compensation with a prospective employer, be sure you’ve done your research to understand your worth. Things to consider when calculating your salary are the skills and experience you bring to role, plus the market rate for the job title in your particular industry or geographic location.
If the company offers equity, educate yourself on how equity can impact your financial life. It's important to understand that an equity option may mean a lower annual salary but bigger gains in the future. This is an example of when knowing your bottom line and your ability to withstand financial risk comes into play.
Student loan forgiveness
Some employers will help shoulder employees’ student loan debt burden, which is a tangible financial benefit that can be extremely impactful to workers who watch their hard-earned paycheck go straight toward student debt payments. Examples of this popular job benefit include student loan forgiveness programs, tax-free payment options, or other financial assistance to help reduce or eliminate debt. Don’t hesitate to ask a prospective employer if this type of benefit is available.
Assess the company culture
Culture may seem like a nebulous term, but ultimately, it’s everything that a company offers and does to create the “employee experience.” In short, culture encompasses benefits that go beyond the standard salary and annual review processes.
Here are some popular job benefits to consider when evaluating potential employers:
Thriving organizations require healthy, happy, and engaged workers, which is why wellness benefits have become a staple in the job market. A potential employer’s wellness offerings can tell you a lot about the employer’s culture and how the organization values its workforce. Wellness benefits come in many forms, and some currently popular offerings include:
Flexible work benefits
Flexible work options can range from compressed work weeks and stretchy schedules to work-from-home opportunities. The way a company approaches how and where work gets done provides insight into the organization’s philosophy of work. Modern job seekers look for employers who understand and accommodate their employees’ dynamic and often complex lives.
One of the biggest takeaways from the Covid-19 pandemic has been that employers actually have a responsibility to support their teams’ well-being. During the pandemic, the average American nearly doubled their time spent working. While quality health insurance is important, be sure to look at wellness offerings or stipends that cover things like therapy, exercise, or personal development classes. Progressive companies that are in tune with their employees' needs frequently offer these types of benefits.
Industry statistics how that average paid time off for employees with one year of tenure is 11 days and with five years’ tenure is 15 days. Savvy companies with high employee retention make a point of allowing employees to balance work effort with time away to reset and recharge. Be sure to find out what you can expect in terms of paid time off.
Part of a healthy company culture is investment in employee growth. Whether you’re looking to obtain a degree, certificate, or attend training, consider how a prospective employer can help you get there.
Learning & development programs
Learning and development is becoming a must-have in the benefits world, and taking advantage of these programs not only makes you a stronger employee but also helps grow your portfolio and skill set for future opportunities. L&D programs can include things like coaching, seminars, certifications, and more. If you know you want to progress when you join a company, don’t hesitate to ask how the company will support you.
Landing a great job may be your initial goal, but even before you accept a job offer, it’s important to think beyond the initial stages of employment to see if the employer is set up to meet your longer-term goals. During the interview process, ask the hiring manager about career tracking and professional growth opportunities. Their answer is key indicator of how the organization invests in employees and will meet your needs in the long term.
Are you looking for a new role or considering making a job change?
Talk to a Nelson Connects recruiter today to get started.
Kelsey Breton is a freelance content marketing specialist with a passion for helping brands connect with their audience. View more of her work and connect with her through her website.