When you’re searching for a new role, there’s a lot to consider. Workplace happiness, job fulfillment, overall career goals – as well as your bottom line. If you’ve been given a job offer, or multiple job offers, and you’re not sure which boasts the best compensation package – you’re not alone. It takes work to break down the total compensation package and determine how much your benefits and other perks are worth.
What is a Total Compensation Package?
A Total Compensation Package (or TCP) refers to anything of value your employer will provide in exchange for the work you do. This includes not only your base compensation, or salary, but also health benefits, bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits, voluntary benefits, perks, retirement contributions, stock options – and more. All these things combined make up the total compensation package or offer package. Not everything in a TCP has a direct monetary value, either. Things like schedule flexibility or unlimited PTO are hard to put a price tag on – but for you, they may feel essential.
Evaluating an offer package, or figuring out how much your benefits are worth, is important. The offer with the highest base salary isn’t necessarily the best job offer.
Considering All the Factors
Medical benefits, retirement contributions, and tuition reimbursement programs have the potential to make up 20-40% of your annual income.
“Suppose you’re offered an annual salary of $50,000. Your benefits package [could] theoretically be worth more than $15,000, so your total compensation would be valued at roughly $65,000.”
There are other things to consider, however, that may increase your annual expenses. Do you need to commute, or relocate to a more expensive area for the job? Factors like these may need to be taken in consideration.
How much are my benefits worth?
A lot – and if you are self-employed, you already know this. In fact, someone who is self-employed needs to earn 50% more to achieve the same overall compensation, since they would also have to pay what is typically the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare Tax. Plus, employers get deals on health insurance plans that simply aren’t available to individuals in the general marketplace.
Health Insurance and Related Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits are a huge piece of your overall compensation package. This can include Medical, Dental, Vision, as well as HSA/FSA accounts. When calculating how much your benefits are worth, think about what percentage your employer is going to be covering.
Is your employer covering 100% of the cost? 80%? Does that change if you were to include a spouse or dependents in the coverage? These are all important questions to ask when evaluating an offer package and figuring out how much your health benefits are worth.
Forbes did the math for us, and retirement contributions are no joke!
“A typical employee with a $50,000 annual salary who earns an 8% annual return on their 401(k) contributions and has a 3% employer match would see an additional $73,628 in their account from the matching contributions after twenty years.”
Most companies will offer 401(k) plans to assist you in planning for retirement, and many others will even match your contributions up to a certain amount. No matter what age you are, or where you are on your journey to retirement planning, those contributions mean more money in your pocket. It’s clear to see why retirement contributions are a significant portion of your benefits package.
Many job seekers wonder: how do stock options work? If you’re working for a publicly traded company or startup, stock options are often a part of the deal. This means your employer is giving you the option to purchase company stock at a discount.
“They’re not as straightforward as a paycheck, but they have the potential of a big payday.”
It can be hard to assign concrete value to this. There should be some faith that the company will trend upwards, and that the stock will increase in value over the years. Plus, there are often stipulations around how long you must wait to vest, or exercise, those options. Do your research and talk to your potential employer to fully understand the ins and outs.
Bonuses, Perks, and Incentives
Now we can get to the fun stuff. Paid time off, sign-on bonuses, health/wellness stipends – the list goes on and on. As we mentioned earlier, the items in this category vary widely when it comes to assigning a monetary value. For example, many employers are now offering a Hybrid Workplace Model as a perk. If this is important to you, you might weigh it heavily in your decision. Maybe you’ll save on commuting costs, or food costs if you can eat lunch at home a few days a week – but overall, this kind of perk is meant to increase work/life balance. If you have to invest in creating a comfortable home office, this perk may not be so enticing. Then again, maybe your company offers a home office stipend.
Other perks, like gym membership discounts, student loan assistance, and bonuses, are easier to calculate. When considering the perks your company offers, it’s important to think about your workplace happiness. Ultimately, the numbers on a page only mean so much when it comes to finding the perfect career match. Understanding the overall value of your compensation package is important, especially when deciding between two job offers. At the end of the day, benefits are a big part of your offer package, so do your research, and do the math, to figure out how much your benefits are really worth.
Popular Benefits in 2022
If you’re an employer wondering what kinds of benefits candidates expect to see in 2022, download our annual Market Trend Report for a full view. In need of more guidance as you structure your offer package? We’d be happy to assist! The recruiting experts at Career Group Companies work side by side with companies, advising on everything from current market rates to internal team structuring for long-term growth.
So, which benefits and perks are candidates hoping to see in 2022? Here are a few.
- Unlimited PTO
- Schedule Flexibility
- Performance-based or Signing Bonus
- Wellness Initiatives
- Organizational Diversity and Inclusion efforts
- Corporate Social Responsibility Programs
- Unpaid personal LOA programs
- Child Care Assistance
- Pet Insurance
- Home Office Stipend or WiFi/Phone Allowance
- Shortened Review Timeline
- Profit Sharing/Stock Options
For a more exhaustive list, or for assistance finding the perfect candidate for the role, get in touch today and see how we can help you attract and retain great talent.