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There are advantages to applying for and accepting a job at the end of the year.  Hiring managers are moving quickly to fill positions and use up their budgets.  Most companies have shored up their benefit plans for the upcoming year – ensuring uninterrupted service for you for at least the next twelve months.

It is easy to quantify and dissect salary, bonus, or commissions. We can assign a value that corresponds to paying a mortgage, buying groceries, or saving for a vacation.  But benefits like health coverage or retirement contribution matching are often overlooked as it is what it is; without assessing true monetary value.

When moving from one job to another, we can see the 401k percentage match or the cost of our monthly health insurance premium. But often, we’re programmed to accept these as inflexible parts of our new employment.

It is not unusual to receive a detailed benefits summary from HR after you’ve accepted a job.  From monthly premiums to deductibles, waiting periods to paid time off – these benefits all have value.  Accepting a higher paying position is ideal, but not if your monthly health insurance premium negates your raise. 

If you are looking for a new job without the help of a staffing agency, you must advocate for yourself.  There is a song and dance around compensation during the interview process. When is it appropriate to ask about benefits, salary, or time off? Is it the first interview, the third, in person?  No matter the time, it is imperative to understand their value.

Health Benefits

Health insurance premiums are some of the largest expenditures for American households. The average American will pay close to $6,000 per year in premiums on an employer-based plan. But beyond premiums, it is important to understand the plans that are offered by your future employer.  If something catastrophic were to occur, what do you have to pay out of pocket?  It’s critical to evaluate things like coverage, co-insurance, in-network vs. out-of-network costs, or lifetime maximums. 

Retirement Benefits

What you are able to contribute to a 401k or other retirement account is likely fixed. But the contribution your new employer makes (or doesn’t make) can have far reaching consequences down the road. 

Paid Time Off

Holidays, PTO, vacation, sick leave – however you say it; paid time off has value. Examine how much time you have taken off in the past and compare it to your new plan. While you may be able to sacrifice a few vacation days, it’s important to know how you will be paid for your time off.

Paid Family Leave

Many states are adopting paid leave policies to help new parents or those caring for a loved one.  But companies are also creating these internal policies.  Paid family leave has monetary value and encourages employee retention. If you might eventually benefit from paid family leave like the birth of a child, this should be a consideration in your job hunt.

Insurance

Examine life insurance benefits, long term and short-term disability, workers compensation, pet insurance, and more.  Every organization will have a unique combination of insurance benefits that you can compare to your current situation. 

Ancillary Benefits

Lunch is provided every day. You receive a monthly work-from-home stipend for supplies and internet service. Your gym membership is reimbursed, and your commuting costs are covered.  If you aren’t currently using a gym – great! It’s a wash.  But if your commuting costs are about to double and there is no plan to help defray these costs, then you could be looking at increased expenses beyond your increased salary.

In 2020, some of these benefits are expanding even further than what is considered the standard package. From prepaid legal plans to IT help desks for your kids, telehealth platform access to identity management plans; companies are getting creative with their offerings during the pandemic.

If you are working with a staffing agency to find your next position, you should expect them to advocate on your behalf – knowing the benefits and negotiating for you if these benefits fall short of your needs.  Just because you can’t change your future employer’s health insurance offering, doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate a higher base salary to make up for the shortcomings between your current and future job.

Technology and IT based positions continue to be highly competitive. Hiring managers are motivated to fill their positions with the best talent by the end of the year.  Use your staffing agency as a resource to help you compare and contrast benefits as much as you would compare salary, commission, and bonus. 


Ultimately, staffing agencies like Talener are here to support and advocate for you.  For more information about negotiating and understanding how benefits affect your offer, speak with Henry Boulos today.

Connect with your local Talener office today