When we work with a person to assess whether or not a career move makes sense for them; one of the big focuses has to be on benefits. While base salary is important, its really just a small part in the bigger picture.
So, having a lot of experience looking at people’s benefits packages I’ve come to find that there is generally a direct correlation between the quality of the company and the benefits they offer.
First off one thing we all realize is that benefits are expensive. In today’s era of rising healthcare costs it is more expensive then ever to offer a fully backed plan where the company pays 100% of the cost. This can be a massive savings to the average employee.
What we find is that companies with very strong benefits packages really care about how their employees view their overall experience with the company. Simply put, they are creating reasons for people to stay with the company for a long time.
The Other Side of the Tracks
On the exact opposite side of the coin we see the employer that offers say, 70% coverage with a weak plan, no match on a 401k BUT….usually do a nice sized bonus and the salary might be a little higher. We have found in general that these companies tend to cycle through more people. They tend to be a little more reaction oriented hiring late for projects, cutting staff quicker when work slows and surprise…having those bonuses come in a little weaker than initially promised.
We get contacted a few times a month by new prospective clients and almost immediately we ask about their benefits package. A company with a very weak benefits package is not something we will “sell” to one of our candidates.
The One Exception
Here is the one place where I make an exception….brand new companies with tremendous upside. This is a rare occurrence but we do work with companies from time to time where they are in start up mode and cash is tight. Candidates who are interested in being in on the ground floor with a new company are open to risk and often that comes at a slight price. In that case there is merit in taking reduced initial benefits package.