Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What to Look For in a Benefits Package

If you are under the age of 26, you may have benefited from a major piece of legislation which passed in 2010. It allows for married and unmarried youth under 26 to stay on their parents health insurance package if they so choose. If you weren’t able to take advantage of this legislation, then company benefits will be a large part of your job search. As a job seeker today, you should be well-informed of the benefits package that a company offers, or do not offer. Let’s take a look at some of the company benefits that may be offered and what you should be looking for as a job seeker.

While one company may offer a tremendous benefits package, another company may not be financially able to provide their employees with a comprehensive package that will allow them to provide extensive coverage for its employees.

So what is a good benefits package? There are a number of different components that could make up your company benefits ranging from the aforementioned healthcare to paid time off and 401(k) plans. Inc. provides a great list for employers on how to create a competitive benefits package. While the article is geared toward those deciding on what benefits package to offer, it is a great resource for an employee or a job seeker trying to navigate the world of company benefits.

Does your company offer a vision service plan and/or dental insurance? How many days of paid time off will you receive? Does your employer have a matching 401(k)?

For starters, you need to decide how important these various health insurance benefits are to you as a job seeker or employee, and how much employment security you are placing on this company. If you are prone to health problems and your company offers only a high deductible plan, you may be looking at a serious issue when the doctor bills start to rack up. On the other hand, if you are in relatively good health it may be to your benefit for the company to focus its money and employment security elsewhere- like your future.

A matching 401(k) can be a critical asset if you’re planning a future. But as the Inc. article sates, only around 15 percent of companies with five to 99 employees offer 401(k) plans. And while paid time off, or vacation and sick leave, may not seem as big in the grand scheme of benefits and employment security, it is critical in how you spend your free time- something we all should have.

An offer letter comes with a flood of excitement. But after the initial excitement, as tedious or boring as it may be, it’s important to wade through what you’re being offered and get to the root of your real compensation.A company that offers no employment security may not be the best option for you. A big salary and no benefits might not fit your current lifestyle as nicely as a smaller salary with added company benefits, and wages invested instead in your health and future. Employment security should be a large part of your job search process and decision making process.

Remember it’s a benefits package, so look over what your company is offering and try and make it benefit you.

Does a company’s benefits plan weigh heavily on your decision making process? Have you ever turned down an offer because a company did not offer health benefits or employment security? Let us know in the comments section below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by 401(k) 2012

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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