What to Know About Employee Benefits When Searching for a New Job
American business is in the midst of a hiring frenzy. After the severe economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business is booming again in most sectors. This means that many Americans are on the hunt for a new job. While the overwhelming selling point of any job is the salary, you also need to be aware of the various benefits offered by the employers that you are considering.
Here are a few of the primary types of benefits that employers offer. Be sure that you understand all of these benefits and what will be afforded to you before accepting any job offer.
The granddaddy of them all is health benefits. While health benefits are largely universal, not all organizations offer the same amount of coverage. Some employers will only cover the basic costs while other more comprehensive plans may throw in dental and optical care. It is important to read all of the details so that you know if you need to sign up for supplemental coverage.
You also need to take care to find out when the coverage will start. Some organizations do not offer benefits until you have been employed for a set amount of time. If this is the case, you may want to take out a short-term policy to ensure that you are adequately covered.
After health benefits, most prospective employees will be asking about retirement benefits. This is particularly important the older that you are. Because most companies no longer provide a traditional pension plan, the 401(k) plan is the most common offering. Taking a job with an employer who provides a company match on 401(k) contributions can go a long way in padding your personal retirement account. Understanding the investment options that the organization offers and how it will help you to reach your retirement goals is important if you plan on staying with the company for a significant amount of time.
The amount of vacation time that you receive each year can have a detrimental effect on your mental wellness. Most white-collar employers offer paid vacation time after a specific time of employment. Before accepting a job, you also need to inquire about personal days and sick days. Understanding these various types of paid time off options will help you to make an informed decision before accepting a job.
Life insurance is another benefit that employers may offer to sweeten the pot. Some organizations will automatically offer it at no cost. Other companies may charge a fee to sign up for this additional coverage. If you have a family that depends on you, this is something that you will want to look into in great detail so that you make sure that you have the coverage needed for optimal peace of mind.
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that the proper function of the nation's school system is detrimental to the business sector. As a result, many employers are now offering childcare benefits as part of their employment packages. This usually comes in the form of flexible spending accounts. Larger organizations may even offer on-site childcare or discounts for local providers. If you have children, you are definitely wise to explore all of these options.
In addition to the major benefits, there are a host of miscellaneous perks that employers may offer to their workers. Recognizing the desire of many employees to further their education, some companies offer educational reimbursements to workers looking to expand their qualifications.
Some companies are sweetening the deal by offering more flex time to their employees. While this is not a formal benefit, the availability of flex time can greatly improve your overall satisfaction with a job. In today's COVID-19 pandemic, this most often comes with the option to work from home.
How you prioritize these benefits depends on your personal situation. A young and single professional will be more concerned about paid vacation time than childcare benefits. Conversely, an older worker will be more focused on retirement benefits and health insurance coverage.