When faced with the tough decision to accept or decline an offer of employment, it is critical to consider more than just the bottom line. Some other factors to think about include, but are certainly not limited to, signing bonuses, moving expenses, insurance, employer contributions to retirement and corporate culture.
With so many different types and combinations of benefits offered by employers, comparing competing offers may prove difficult, especially if you are considering relocation.
However, a thorough evaluation of a job offer and respective cost of living must include more analysis than the comparison of the different compensation figures.
Recent University of Kentucky graduate, Emily Griffin, an executive team lead at Target, says, "When I was looking for a position out of college, the most important factors to me were a job that had a great team culture, tuition reimbursement to help me further my education, and a great wellness program. Obviously, compensation is also a pretty important factor.
"If I could give one piece of advice for a job offer, make sure you read it carefully, ask questions, and compare notes and reviews of the company to make sure your goals and the company goals align."
Joey Payne, Chief Benefits Officer at the University of Kentucky suggests an analytical approach.
"Make sure you are a good fit for the organization. Look at the offer and analyze specific elements of total compensation, making sure minimum needs are being met, then looking at the overall total compensation and compare."
Lauren Fritz, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Tempur Sealy, challenges candidates to, "Think long term about how the role will allow you to advance and grow depending on what you are interested in. Often, people just look at the compensation number on the page and don't think of the opportunities beyond that.
"Also, what is the culture and day-to-day environment you will be in? Is it a place that when you wake up you want to go to work?"
All of those people offer good advice. Also, keep in mind that some companies offer unique or extremely generous benefits you may not find elsewhere.
For example, the University of Kentucky generously offers a 200 percent retirement match.
According to Payne, "The regular full-time employee is required to contribute five percent of base pay (at age 30 the plan is mandatory) and they receive a 10 percent employer match."
UK also provides tuition reimbursement and an on-site health clinic for employees alongside many other benefits.
At Tempur Sealy, "So that all of our employees are brand ambassadors, every new hire receives a free mattress set after 90 days of employment. We also get two heavily discounted sets a year for friends and family, along with accessory (pillows, slippers, etc.) discounts. It is a great benefit that you typically don't think about," Fritz said.
Professional development opportunities, leave policies, employee discount programs, company vehicles, childcare assistance, comprehensive employee and family wellness programs, gym or workout facilities are among some of the more generous offerings of companies.
When evaluating job offers, take the time to thoughtfully consider the whole compensation package. When comparing multiple offers, carefully analyze the work locations' respective cost of living and all aspects of each total compensation package.
Never simply focus only on the bottom line on your pay check. Remember that the varying benefit offerings will render the comparison anything but an apples to apples. A thorough analysis of the entire compensation package is critical before moving on to the negotiation and acceptance stage of the process.