Company Benefits

Graduating college years ago, the big push for my parents and my friend’s parents was to find a job and get benefits.  This was always humorous to my friends and me.  Why do I need benefits?  I am young and invincible!  OK, maybe I could get hurt in a pick up basketball game or soccer match but nothing really serious will happen.

Fortunately, nothing did happen but last week I had shoulder surgery.  Nothing major, but being in the doctors office on numerous occasions and then the surgery center and going through the prep work and through the 100+ questions about my medical history and benefit coverage did I begin to really think about my benefits for the first time.

My family is covered but I never really took time to dig into my benefits for coverage and service.  I do have a good plan which is very helpful but seeing others in the office made me consider for the first time why benefits are so important in offer negotiations.

I have been asked about benefits before, coverage’s, PPO versus HMO, out of pocket – you know the usual questions and while I know our benefit plans I never understood why they were important early in conversations.  I’m not naïve enough to not understand people have to look out for their family or certain conditions and coverage’s but when the unexpected comes up, like my procedure, then you want to make sure you are in good shape.

I am wondering if in today’s economic state if benefits are being skimped on by the majority of companies and if supplemental insurance is becoming more and more necessary.  Companies are, and have been reducing their overhead benefit expenditures for a number of years now… this is no secret.

Are benefits impacting an individual’s job search today?  Has it ever been a “deal breaker” for you?  Has it ever been something you really considered outside of being happy to have benefits?

For me, I always looked at benefits to make sure it had the basic coverage and the larger items were covered.  I do have good coverage but after this past process with my shoulder, benefits will be something that I will look at much more closely and take in a more serious light.


About kufarms
10 years in HR and recruiting both in the corporate and agency worlds. Corporate Recruiter and Socail Media Strategist. Looking to share and discuss topics as well as hopefully provide some thought. Dad of 2 with a loving wife.

4 Responses to Company Benefits

  1. timshady says:

    I would say first coming out of college, my concern was 100% focused on the money. I didn’t even care about vacation and rarely needed to use my health benefits. As I got older and transitioned careers, benefits played more of a factor – mainly health benefits and vacation. Now that I have a family, the benefits are a huge part of my decision making. I definitely look at the entire package; salary, vacation, health benefits, life insurance, retirement contribution and even work environment (flexible working hours and work from home opportunities).

    I think a lot of our decision making is focused around our family life. Obviously if you are young and single, your priorities are much different than if you are married with children. Plus, if you are just getting into a career path, I would say the less you will haggle over benefits.

  2. kufarms says:

    Great points. The entire package is (should) always be the deciding factor. There are so many factors to evaluate and will be, obviously, unique to each individual based upon their own circumstances and where they are in their life. I do agree that there is a lot of give and take in offers and that is where being able to negotiate well is put to the test by both the prospective employee and the prospective employer.

    Isn’t it interesting how each individual will evaluate offers and total packages and how this evolves over time?

  3. Ben Eubanks says:

    My current employer has a policy that benefits didn’t start until after the 6 month probation period is over. Ouch.

    If not for my wife’s employer letting us swap over mid-year, I would not have been able to take this job. A difference between me and any other employee is that I’m going into HR, and I actually have a chance of changing that draconian, out-dated policy.

  4. kufarms says:

    I’m glad this worked out for you. Also, HR needs people to bring positive change instead of keeping to the “old” ways of business. Positive change creates a positive work environment. This is when HR is really able to truly partner with the business and improve internally from the ground up.

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