Congratulations on your job offer. The job offer is your reward for a job well done during your interviewing process! But before you except your offer, it is extremely important to realize that an offer IS more than just a salary and a start date.
When you accept an offer, you need to completely understand the following:
1. STARTING SALARY: This is your official base salary.
2. YOUR WORK HOURS
If you accept a position working 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch, you are only working 35 vs. 40 hours per week. If your salary was quoted as an hourly rate; you need to take the hourly rate times 35 hours per week, times 52 weeks, to make sure you understand what you will earn annually.
3. OVERTIME POLICY
Most companies pay time and a half after 40 hours per week, unless you are an exempt employee -where there is no overtime.
4. BENEFITS PACKAGE
This includes health insurance, vacation time, retirement program, 401K, life insurance, sick days, short and long-term disability policy PTO (paid time off and other perks). Below is a list of benefits to consider.
You need to know the amount of the deductibles you will need to pay out of pocket. Prescription coverage is also very valuable! You need to know the exact cost for the coverage for you and for your family.
You need to know how many days you have off, and when you qualify to take your vacation. Often there is either a six or twelve month waiting period until you accrue vacation time.
As you mature, this type of benefit obviously becomes more important. Often, there is a waiting period of one year for this type of coverage. If you have a current program, you may want to check if you can transfer over your funds to your new employer’s program.
This type of benefit can be very attractive, especially if your employer matches any percentage of your contribution.
Many health insurance policies also offer life insurance coverage. The most common policy is one times your annual salary. If you are offered coverage, you need to find out who pays for this coverage.
Most firms have sick days or personal day policies. If your employer has this coverage, how many days?
This refers to Paid Time Off and is becoming more popular. Rather than separate vacation, personal and sick days, many companies just offer a certain amount of days off each year for any of the above. If you’re not sick, you can use the days as vacation time.
5. ADDITIONAL PERKS
Many firms offer benefits that are customized for their company exclusively. These can include: free parking, free lunches or an employee cafeteria, casual dress code, daycare, transportation reimbursements, summer hours, flexible schedules and much more.
You need to get a copy of ·your employer’s benefit package to make sure you have the benefits you need. If your company does not offer benefits, they often will pay a flat amount toward the cost of your benefits.
If benefits are not provided. then you need to consider the impact of this on your future. It is extremely important that you have medical insurance to protect you against any future health issues.
If you are relocating, you need to find out the exact amount of the relocation package. Will they purchase your house? Will they cover 100% of your moving expenses? Will they provide temporary housing? Will they pay for you to come home and visit prior to your family moving? Will they help you find a realtor?
7. COMPANY CAR, EXPENSE ACCOUNT, LAPTOP
These perks are available for higher level positions and again you must get details. Can you use the car for personal use? Is insurance, license plates and gas paid for by the company? What types of expenses are paid?
When you have been in a job search for a period of time, it is so enticing to jump at the first offer you receive. However, now you know the importance of getting the details on the complete offer which does involve much more than a start date and salary.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Ingrid Moore
Ingrid Moore is the President and Owner of Corporate Resources of Illinois, an employment & staffing agency with over 20+years’ experience located in Schaumburg, IL. Ingrid and her team assist employers with finding the right hire for their business. For more info, follow us on our LinkedIn Company Page, or follow us Corporate Resources of Illinois‘s Google+ page.