Landing a job is only half the battle, negotiating start dates, salary, benefits and perks are another beast altogether.
Given that salary typically accounts for about 70% of an employee’s salary, it’s with good reason that benefits and perks have steadily become important considerations before accepting a job. In fact, these days, people tend to prefer benefits over a pay raise because not only does it add to your basic salary, it also improves the overall quality of your life.
So, what are the benefits you should look out for? Here’s a handy little list:
Medical insurance – Most large companies offer health insurance coverage. But as medical costs shoot up, it’s important to check if the benefits are any good. Are other people in comparable jobs getting similar benefits? Does it cover outpatient visits? Does it exclude certain categories like dental and vision?
If your new employer doesn’t offer insurance, you’re missing out on a valuable benefit. Work out how much you’d be spending on doctor visits and account for that in your negotiations.
Maternity/paternity leave – Gone are the days of 8-week maternity leave offers. Progressive firms and lawmakers are ensuring parents get enough time with the newborns. While 4 months is becoming the norm, some employers have started to offer paid leave for up to a year. While you’re at it, ask if you’re entitled to childcare leave and if the company offers flexible work arrangements.
Health and wellness programs – As employees spend most of their time at the office desk, the best companies know investing in their staff by adopting health and wellness programmes is crucial. This could include having a gym in the office, compensating employees for their gym memberships or offering fitness trackers and swag. Taking the initiative further, many firms have specific days or timings devoted to fitness and some even bring in personal trainers.
Not having these benefits isn’t necessarily a deal breaker – but don’t overlook it either, because a company that cares enough to let you take an hour or two off to go to the gym is one that likely cares about your overall wellbeing and happiness.
Free food – Spending HKD 50 on lunch every day may not be much, but it adds up in the long run. We urge you to do the math and figure out how much you’d save in a year by not eating out.
Thanks to Google and Facebook, many companies have now hired chefs and are catering food twice a day. If you’re lucky, some even throw in healthy options.