While employers have strategies in place to attract the best talent, what can employees do to better understand the compensation and benefits package they currently have or are being offered?
Firstly, do your research and find out what the market norms are. Then compare them with what you are being offered.
Try talking to people already in the industry who would be willing to share that kind of information with you. You can also look at job advertisements to get an idea of what these companies are offering.
Apart from the pay, look at employee benefits as well. Your employment benefits may comprise up to 40% of the total value of your rewards.
Ensure that you are sufficiently covered for what you and your family needs. For example, does the health insurance that the company offers to cover your spouse and children? Details on the amount of coverage and conditions for the coverage should also be considered.
Fringe benefits such as free parking, a company car, or a gym membership can also make a big difference for some people. It is therefore important to review the benefits package thoroughly and if sufficient information is not given, here are a few questions to ask:
- Does my benefits package include health insurance coverage? If so, how much coverage is given? Is the premium deducted from my salary?
- Is life insurance provided?
- Can I review a summary of the health insurance plan options? What are the restrictions and limitations? What about pre-existing conditions? When does coverage begin?
- How much sick leave, vacation time, and holidays are provided? When do benefits start to accrue?
- Is there a pension plan in place? How much does the company contribute?
- Does the company offer short-term and long-term disability coverage?
- Are there educational and training benefits? If so, are they available for your family, and yourself?
- Are there any other fringe benefits that are offered?
Remember, however, that the right time to bring these questions up is not during your interview, but only later, once you have a job offer in your hand. You can discuss employee benefits either with human resources or the person who is offering you the job.
Review this based on your personal circumstances and take into consideration what is important to you at this stage of your life and in the future (such as coverage for childbirth, the possibility of a sabbatical etc).
If you would like a handy tool to help you assess the value of your compensation and benefits package, try the calculator available at www.calcxml.com/calculators/total-compensation.
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