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A Benefits Package – what does this mean to you?

As the topic of employee benefits becomes more frequently discussed, it’s important that as a job seeker, you should never obsess over what benefits you feel that you’re entitled to, even if your mate in one of the hipster tech firms brags about the abundance of freebies they receive. Regardless of salary and benefits, the main purpose of employment is to work, and to work hard in order to succeed. You are being hired to do a job, and to perform at your best, and you should never lose sight of that. Benefits are expensive for a company, and offering things like health insurance or a pension contribution represents a real effort to provide a good experience for employees – so never take them for granted.

The influx of tech companies into Ireland in recent years has caused quite a stir to the traditional benefits packages on offer. These multinational companies not only offer their employees an ultra-cool and architecturally suave office space, but they indulge them with the kinds of benefits one would have only dreamt of before Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” emerged. Such benefits might veer towards the slick “social committees” offering free beer on tap, fully stocked kitchens and a games room!

Looking for a job means compromising. You probably won’t find the perfect position in the perfect location with the perfect salary, perfect working culture and benefits package, but when weighing up your options you should take a look at the bigger picture and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where am I at in my life and what kind of benefits actually matter to me?
  2. Do the benefits being offered to me suit my current lifestyle?
  3. Will the financial remuneration make up for the lack of benefits?
  4. Will the excellent benefits make up for a lesser salary?

While salary still remains the most important motivation to job seekers, you should always consider the types of benefits being offered to you and the impact they can have on your life overall – even if you’re less impressed with the salary figure on offer. Take for example health insurance, probably one of the most valuable benefits. If you’re a mother with three kids and a company is offering to cover you all, that’s quite substantial. However, if you’re a 23 year old graduate with no children on the horizon, a free mobile phone, gym or canteen might appeal more to you. Likewise, if you feel that some jobs you’re applying for are lacking in the benefits department, they probably make up for it with salary or the possibility of gaining experience in a particular sector, so don’t be disappointed and weigh up the options.

Traditional Vs Newer Benefits

While more traditional benefits are still being offered to employees, in recent years employees who work at multinational companies have become some of the most pampered employees in Ireland. Gourmet food, free beer and wine, health clubs and games rooms are standard at these large companies, and are pretty common in start-ups, too.

Traditional

In addition to and New

  • Holidays plus the x 9 Irish Bank Holidays = incremental
  • Private Medical Insurance for the employee and family
  • Life Assurance for the employee
  • Group Income protection for the employee
  • Pension Contributions
  • Casual Friday
  • Games room/ beer on tap/fully stocked kitchen
  • Pilates
  • Languages classes
  • Gym
  • Travel Vouchers
  • Onsite health/dental care
  • Further education opportunities
  • Duvet Days
  • Laptop/Phone/Ipad

“Softer Benefits” can be attributed to ‘Generation Y’ who want instant gratification and to live in the ‘now’ over older generations who want security as they tend to stay in jobs in the long term.

The point to remember is that the true benefit of benefits will be based entirely on your circumstances. What means more to your graduate self, won’t mean half as much to your working mother self. While a pension scheme might bore you at 23, it will become vital to you as you enter the mid stages of your career.

While a decent benefits package can go a long way in boosting morale and retention, it is also seen as a major incentive. Employees want that little bit extra, but you should remember that to get extra you should need to work for it. After all, it’s benefits we’re talking about, not entitlements.