It’s easy to get distracted by a beer keg in the break room but it’s important not to overlook the job benefits that truly matter. This is easier said than done, as there are close to 350 perks being touted by various companies today (there were only 60 perks touted 20 years ago). Some of the biggest trends in this area are highlighted in the following infographic by Company Folders. These perks include mental health assistance provided by UPS and bi-monthly housecleaning services provided by Evernote.
So how do you decide what truly matters? Monster Career expert Vicki Salemi recommends putting aside any specific offerings from potential employers you’ve already noted and, instead, take stock of what your actual needs are.
“Before you start interviewing, create a list of your top five priorities and rank them in order of importance,” she recommends. “Remember: All that glitters is not gold. While some benefits are initially attractive, you need to ask yourself which ones are worth getting excited about because they’re the ones you’ll really use.”
For most of us, financial perks are more beneficial than unlimited ping pong table time or even unlimited time off. But, on paper, those “shinier objects” can be hard to resist. Proceed with caution, though. Salemi uses the example of an unlimited-personal-day policy to drive this point home.
“If the company you’re interviewing with does happen to offer this perk, you may think to yourself, ‘Score! I got the golden ticket!’ In reality, I wonder if just how much the perk is leveraged. How many days does the average employee at the company actually take off annually? Is the number really that much greater than companies with a typical policy of 20 days per year?” she questions.
That’s not to say “cool” perks are worthless. It’s just important to consider them with an appropriate amount of skepticism. After all, perks and benefits can account for an average 31.4 percent of your total compensation.
Often, the perks and benefit most valuable to you will depend on where you are in your life and career. Tony Aguilar, the CEO of Student Loan Genius, knows this. The Austin-based company helps former students pay off their loans and allows employers to offer the perk to help employees pay off their loan principal, be compensated for doing so, and even save up for retirement.
While the company states 83 percent of employees say student loan benefits would influence where they decide to work, the perk isn’t helpful if you don’t have student loans. Maybe, instead, your focus is on parental leave or daycare assistance, or on maximizing your retirement savings.
Two of the top perks to look for in 2017 most experts can agree on are optimal healthcare coverage and 401k matching. As HR Dive reports, it’s important to look for solid employer healthcare coverage that is consumer-driven, communicated well, and includes the benefits specifically important to you, which may be telemedicine options or excellent prescription coverage. And for 401k coverage, according to Willis Towers Watson, employer contributions are expected to rise in 2017. So look for employers who are at, or ahead of the curve, in matching your contributions at a high level.
What perks have you seen that you find surprising or intriguing? Tell us about them and why you either seek them out or steer clear.
Image Copyright: Robert Przybysz / 123RF Stock Photo
Infographic provided by Company Folders