For most job seekers, there’s a certain order to the progression of events: First, you create a winning resume in order to land an interview. Next, you ace the interview and land an offer. And finally, once your offer is in hand, you take a close look at your potential employer to find out what THEY can offer YOU. During this final stage you’ll need to negotiate an acceptable salary, and you’ll also need to find out if the company can offer competitive benefits. Here are three important questions which can sometimes be forgotten during this discussion.
Where can I learn more about your health insurance plan?
Sometimes the company will provide a very brief overview of your health benefits with the initial offer. But if you’d like to conduct a deeper investigation of your coverage before you commit to this job, find out how. If you know the title of the company sponsored plans and the insurance company that provides them, you can look the details up online. Do this to make sure your current health conditions and those of your family will be covered and affordable. Some company plans are made available to employees, but are offered at very high premiums. In the meantime, what will you do for your vision and dental coverage? Find out if these separate forms of coverage will be among your options as an employee.
Gain a complete understanding of your PTO benefits.
This may not seem to matter so much right now, but you’re going to need sufficient PTO to allow you to commit to your work while also keeping your life on track. If your schedule is complex and you’re going to need enough PTO to accommodate yearly travel, sick children, the demands of a side business, or any other personal obligations, get your questions answered now. How many days will be you allowed per year, and what will you need to do in order to take advantage of these days?
Ask about retirement plans, stock options, and bonuses.
Not all companies offer these to employees, especially at the entry level, but if you don’t know how these work or if they’re available, find out. Will you have access to a 401K and will your employer match your contributions? Will you be provided with a bonus or a cost-of-living raise at the end of each year? What will you need to do ensure your access to benefits that may be offered by the company, but not to every employee? Once you have a job offer in hand, there’s nothing rude or presumptuous about asking for the information you need. Arm yourself with knowledge and you’ll be better poised to make smart career decisions.
For more on how to navigate the job market and choose the best possible offer, reach out to the Little Rock career management team at CSS.