More Than Just Salary: Job Benefits to Consider


Negotiating your job offer is about more than just salary.  In order to truly understand your total compensation and bottom line in your bank account here are a few things to consider:

1.  Retirement Benefits
How much does the company contribute and how? Is it a pension or 401k plan?  Do you need to wait to be vested or does it start when you begin employment?

2. Health Care  
What plans are offered and how much is covered by the employer? Are your current doctors included in their plan? You may also want to inquire as to when health care benefits kick in (and when your former employer’s stop). For example, if your former benefits end on the last day of your previous job but your new benefits don’t begin until the 1st of the month after you start the new position this may be something to consider when negotiating start dates.  If you are NOT planning on utilizing the company health care plans because your spouse/partner covers you, you may be able to use this as leverage for a higher starting salary.

3. Flexibility 
In some cases flexibility is just as important as salary. Inquire as to whether the employer offers the opportunity to flex your hours or work from home. Some employers even offer the ability to work 4 10-hour days in lieu of 5, 8-hour days.

5. Transportation Reimbursement
Does the employer cover a portion of your commuting cost –  for example, subway fare or parking? Do they offer the opportunity to purchase these things pre-tax? If they do not cover these costs, what will your commuting expenses be compared to your previous employer?

6. Tuition Remission
Inquire as to whether the employer offers tuition remission and, if so, what the policies are. Things to consider:

  • How much do they cover and for what types of programs?
  • How long do you need to be with the company or organization before you can take advantage of this program?
  • Are there requirements as to low long must you stay once you complete the program?
  • Are there grade requirements?
  • Are you reimbursed for tuition after successful completion of the semester or does the employer pay up front?
  • Are there other options for paid professional development?
  • Are spouses or dependents eligible for tuition remission?

7. Relocation Reimbursement
Some companies will provide a stipend to cover moving costs. Can’t hurt to ask!

8. Vacation and Sick Leave
How much vacation and/or sick leave are you given as a new employee? Does it increase with time? Is it accrued? What are the standard set of company holidays?

9. Technology
Will the company/organization provide you with a lap top, IPhone, and/or IPad or reimburse you for service fees if you use your own? The little things add up!

10. Maternity/Paternity Leave Policies
Even if you aren’t considering a family in the immediate future, if you are considering a family at all this is a worthwhile policy to consider.  FMLA laws in that state will also play a role so look into your state’s policies.

11. Miscellaneous Perks
Depending on the employer they may have other interesting perks. For example, some private schools offer employees free lunch (again, it adds up!) or tuition remission for dependents. Other organizations offer paid time for volunteer activities, company cars, discounted gym memberships, discounted or on-site child care, even bringing your pet to work!

12. Profit Sharing or Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)
ESOPsprofit sharing plans, and stock bonus plans all differ as vehicles for employee ownership and, depending on the company, this may be a consideration. 

13. Signing Bonus
If the salary is outside your desired range but you would like to consider the offer seriously, see if you can negotiate a one-time signing bonus with the company.  Since that money would not compound, it may be a one time cost that the company is willing to put forth in order to get you on board.   If a signing bonus isn’t an option, consider negotiating for a 6 month review with opportunity for a pay increase at that time.

Image source: www.social-hire.com

The New Buzz Phrase: Employee Engagement

Examining employee commitment to organizational priorities isn’t necessarily a new concept but it’s definitely one that is trending in 2014.  It has even left one writer even asking “is employee engagement the new black?”

After seeing the headlines in so many places, I can’t help but wonder, why now?  Management 101 fad or cultural paradigm shift? In a world where the job market is still tough, it’s not necessarily an employer’s market.  Company culture, benefits, perks, and overall brand are still major factors for job seekers to consider.

So, what gives? Why now?

Is it the new generation of millennials entering the workplace that are influencing the way we do business?
Is it that technology has forced work and life to merge more than it has in the past and therefore we need more out of our work?
Has the emerging dotted line between profitability and employee happiness simply become a strategic advantage business can’t afford to ignore?
Have we redefined leadership for 2014 and beyond?

In his book, The Purpose Economy, Aaron Hurst, asserts that  “purpose has now become a business imperative. In today’s world, running an organization without an intentional emphasis on purpose for employees and customers is like running an organization in the early 1990s and failing to implement technology.”   Alum Arthur Woods (B’10), Co-Founder of Imperative recently presented on the subject via the ACS webinar program in January.

A few case studies:
Zappos has an entire website about their culture:  http://www.zapposinsights.com/The CEO of Zappos often discusses corporate culture and has been quoted as saying “So many people when they go to the office, they leave a little bit of themselves at home, or a lot of themselves at home. And they have to put on this different persona in the office, especially in corporate environments. And our whole…there’s a lot of talk about work life separation or balance and so on, whereas our whole thing is about work life integration. Its just life.”
Google donates $50 for every five hours an employee volunteers. Last year a new program sent employees to Ghana and India to work on community projects. (Not to mention they provide kitchens stocked with gourmet food and onsite laundrey services!)
Recreational Equipment (REI) uses social media to offer an online “company campfire” providing associates and executives the ability to share their thoughts and participate in lively debates and discussions.
Dreamworks Animation headquarters is visited by fresh-juice trucks to distribute free smoothies, and employees are given stipends to personalize workstations.

We want to know: What have you noticed about employee engagement trends in your workplace? What is your employer doing to engage you in the mission and culture of your organization? 

Further reading:

Employee Engagement is  A Leadership Commitment
Create  a Vocabulary That Inspires Employee Engagement
It’s Time to Rethink the Employee Engagement Issue
5 Secrets to Better Employee Engagement
5 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement Now

 

Image source: http://www.miniworkshopseries.com/highlights/?p=776

 

OWN It

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How many people can say they have been in the same room as a NASA astronaut (Dr. Yvonne Cagle), author and journalist Maria Shriver and the “real Olivia Pope”, Judy Smith, all at the same time? I can, and so can the hundreds of young people who attended the Georgetown University Women in Leadership inaugural leadership summit “Own It”. As a student volunteer and a speaker shadow, I was given the opportunity to meet and assist MSNBC journalist Alex Wagner behind the scenes. It was truly an inspiration to meet so many confident and successful women from various backgrounds and industries. The summit featured breakout sessions, encouraging participants to “own [their] health and wellness”, “own [their] image” “own [their] goals” and “own [their] identity” just to name a few.

The summit was quite remarkable, demonstrating the power of vision and perseverance and like many people that afternoon, I walked away feeling bold and inspired. One piece of advice that really resonated with me was having persistence in connecting with women in the industry. Recently, I sent a personal email to a woman in the media and entertainment industries that I admire and respect seeking advice and wisdom—something I am not sure I would have done before GUWIL.  Again, the boldness and the tenacity of the women really help to motivate me. I feel like I could take on the world, owning my aspirations and dreams to empower others to own their story, or as Georgetown alumna and journalist Nora O’Donnell so eloquently, I now feel like I can “do what I cannot do”.​

Aya Waller-Bey (C’14), Alumni Career Services Intern

To hear more about this groundbreaking summit, visit http://www.ownitsummit.com/ or ttp://guwil.org/.  Twitter handle: @GUWILeadership.

 

April Webinar Curriculum

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Happy Spring, Hoyas!  I’m sure you’re all sharing our feeling that 2014 is flying by, and there’s so much we want to accomplish before the summertime.  Whatever your career goals is – to find employment at a new company, get a promotion, go back to school – we are here to help!

ACS has already hosted three very insightful webinars this month, all of which were recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube Channel.   Since we know you’re all busy right now, we’ve  hopefully saved you some time by categorizing our webinar curriculum for the month.  Take a look at the categories below to see which ones you should sign up for or watch on the archive!

For the Recruiter, Career Counselor, or  Job Seeker (or anyone who doesn’t understand that Twitter & Facebook aren’t just for posting pictures of your social life):

Analog to Digital: Strategic Use of Social Media in Your Next Career Move, Jason Levin (MBA’06)

For the Entrepreneur (aka Hoyapreneur):

Start Up 101: Keys to Success & Avoiding Legal Mistakes that Can Kill Your Company, Dave Muchow (F’66, L’71)

What the Classroom Doesn’t Teach: How to Become a Great Entrepreneur, Marcus Howard (C’08)

For those of you who need to work on personal development:

Changing Habits, Talane Miedaner (F’87, G’89)

For the Manager, HR Professional or Attorney:

How to Develop a Best In Class Associate Training Program, Bill Kummerer (L’88)

For the Nonprofit Professional or Board Member:

How to Develop Initiatives that Drive Your Mission and Attract Investment, Amy Dawson (Former Staff)

For the Crisis Communications/Marketing/PR Executive (Basically, anyone in business should tune in to these sessions):

BET: The Remaking of a Brand, Eddie Hill (B’92)

Answering Tough Questions with Ease, Karlyn Lothery (B’95)