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Asked by Sam on December 26, 2016

I believe I'm about to be offered a job at a company I've been interviewing with. How should I evaluate the compensation package when they show it to me? Should I ask them how much things cost (i.e. health care, dental, time off, etc) and then add it to my salary?

Answered by Mandy, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on January 11, 2017

Great questions! If an offer is presented to you, typically the recruiter will state what the base salary or hourly wage will be and if there are any bonuses or other incentives included in the offer. You can ask what the "total compensation package" is which includes base salary, benefits, time off and any other incentives. My recommendation is that if an offer is presented to take some time to really think about everything that's included in the offer and be prepared to negotiate if you feel the need to. You should definitely ask to see a detailed description of their benefits package so you can look at the premiums that you would be paying. 

Best of luck to you!  

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Answered by Sara, Hiring Expert at Grace, on January 13, 2017

That is excellent news. You should evaluate the compensation package by looking at base salary, any bonus options, holidays, paid time off, sick leave, and benefits. The company should provide you with a benefits summary outlining all of their benefits. On average benefits cost an employer 20-30% of your base salary. In the last years benefits really skyrocketed for employers. It should be more about what is important to you via the overall dollar figure associated with the details. My first real job was at a top IT company. I wanted my foot in the door which would give me the needed experience working for a highly reputable company. To me, that had a huge value that outweighed the compensation package. If it is the right opportunity for you, you will know it. Congratulations and good luck.

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Answered by Megan, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on January 17, 2017

At most companies during the offer process, the candidate is offered the compensation package as well as the details of the company's  benefits/healthcare packages. Usually there is an overview sheet that will breakdown the cost of healthcare, dental, and vacation/sick time. From there you can estimate how much would be taken out of each check. If after reviewing the documents HR provides and details of healthcare costs are still not clear, it is okay to ask for more information and a possible breakdown. They may refer you to talk to one of their benefits specialists, if they have a specialized group.

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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on January 20, 2017

Congratulations on the impending job offer! I want to start by reminding you that it’s okay, and expected, to take your time reviewing your offer. You’ll likely receive some form of verbal offer first, followed by a written or electronic document offer. Once you have the documents, take your time and review everything! The best way to evaluate what will be in front of you is to think about what your needs are. What salary do you need and are you comfortable with? How much vacation do you think you’ll use? What are your healthcare needs? For example, are you someone who sees a doctor/dentist/optometrist only as needed or are you someone who requires frequent medical care? All of these things should be included in your offer, but it doesn’t mean the monetary value of them will be, if you’re saying you would like to look at what your total compensation package is worth. Your salary and total compensation are two very different things. For example, if you’re offered an $80k salary with health, dental, vision, PTO, and other fringe benefits, your total compensation might be $95k. Most times this total compensation number is dependent upon what elections you make in terms of health benefits (there are sometimes more than one option based on needs which then have different costs), what your company match is, if any, for retirement, etc. While I would encourage you to be thorough and take the value of benefits like these into consideration, again, determine what it is you want and need and work from there.

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