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Job Offer? Analyze the Benefits!

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A survey conducted by The Harris Poll for the American Institute of CPAs, found that 80% of these notoriously picky respondents would choose a job with benefits over an identical job with 30% more salary but no benefits. Yet 88% of respondents in the same survey said while they are confident they understand the benefits available to them, only 28% are very confident they are using their benefits to the fullest potential. Determining the value of a new job offer goes beyond the salary. Analyze the benefits! Companies can use benefits as one of the tools to make their offer the more attractive one.

Survey Your Current Employees

Designing a benefit plan that stays within your budget and meets your employees’ needs is critical to your organization’s ability to attract and retain talent. To make sure you have the right plan do a survey of your current employees. Ask them what they value and what they don’t value in the current plan. Assess whether your communication of the benefits offered is comprehensive and clear both to current employees and with a new offer.

Health Plans

Along with 401(k)s, health plans are the most popular benefits – in the top three by 56% or respondents. Health care that includes coverage for family members can drive employee satisfaction positively. If it includes dental and vision coverage, even better. A focus on improving mental health care and coverage is starting to impact company health plans, and impact the lives of those who’s needs are better fulfilled. Calculating the maximum out of pocket expense can clarify how valuable this coverage is.

Retirement Plans

Unfortunately, only 15% of private industry employees are offered a traditional pension plan according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 113K pension plans in 1990 and by 2018 that number was more than halved to 47K. Fortunately, most companies offer a 401(k) plan that employees seem to have accepted as a good alternative. These employer-sponsored retirement plans can be funded completely by pre-tax employee contributions or companies can match some portion of the employee’s contribution. Often employees fail to calculate how valuable these plans are for the long term. Communicating those numbers and allowing people to analyze the benefits can dramatically up the value of the benefits in your job offer and for your current employees.

Paid Leave

The third most popular, or even expected, benefit is paid leave. Two weeks of paid vacation is very rare. Three to five weeks is more the norm, and not putting any controls on that time off is also important. Those weeks include any sick days, mental health days or personal days. Too much control of this time off turns it into a negative.

Working From Home

Valuing the savings from not commuting is fairly easy to calculate. Valuing the accessibility of being at home for convenience, emergencies and just comfort is more difficult. The pandemic has made working from home on a hybrid schedule much more viable and should be calculated as much more valuable, if it is what you prefer.

Other Benefits

You must analyze the benefits that aren’t as obvious as well. Transit reimbursement, life insurance, disability insurance, tuition reimbursement, health club discounts, free food at the office, casual dress code, mentorship programs and professional development opportunities all have value.

With 61% of employees saying that benefits boost their job satisfaction, companies need to pay more attention to valuing these benefits for new offers as well as current employees. It is essential for attracting and keeping top talent, boosting morale and productivity and improving the quality of life for all employees.

Interested in information on competitive benefits? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Pharmaceutical Sales Executive Recruiter, Nancy Ragonese at nragonese@smithhanley.com.

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