In Job Search, Some Bonuses Are Unexpected
Job Search, Some Bonuses Are Unexpected
Gazette - December 14, 2001
When you're looking for a job, salary usually is the No. 1 consideration. But
money isn't always everything.And that's something new graduates and job
switchers increasingly are aware of, even in a labor market where job
opportunities are less plentiful. "Although a good starting salary is
important, graduating college students are most interested in jobs that offer
room for advancement, a good benefits package and the opportunity for continuing
education or training," reports the National Association of Colleges and
Employers in Bethlehem, Pa. The association interviewed 1,000 prospective grads
for its annual survey.
Surprisingly, "opportunity for advancement" was the
No. 1 choice - with a "signing bonus," which was so important to new
hires only a few years ago, dead last. "What's happening is that people
really want to like what they're doing," said Mimi Collins, a spokesperson
for the association. "They want to enjoy their work."And that
requirement may be just as important as Big Bucks. And it's not just new grads
who feel that way. It's almost everyone.
Even though fair compensation usually is ranked No. 1 when
employees are asked to list the best companies to work for, it's significant
that salary is followed by "opportunities, job security, pride in work and
company, openness and fairness and camaraderie on the job," according to
Nancy S. Ahlrichs, the author of "Competing for Talent" (Davies-Black,
$32.95). Employers are beginning to see that the keen interest in compensation
that characterized the previous generation of job seekers has undergone a
dramatic change. Today, new grads and job changers feel much freer to ask about
and negotiate for other benefits and perks, such as medical, dental, retirement
and insurance - all of which, particularly comprehensive health care, add up to
money in the bank. Still, there's no denying that the value system of many job
hunters has shifted.
"Money does matter to employees but it doesn't matter as
much as employers still expect it to," said Ray Baumruk, benefits
consultant at Hewitt Associates, a global management consulting and outsourcing
firm with headquarters in Lincolnshire, Ill. Baumruk, who has a bachelor's
degree in industrial engineering and a master's in marketing and strategic
management, urges job seekers, when considering benefits, "to make sure you
get the basics - health care, retirement and other insurance you need. And then,
think about what's important in your life: You might want to trade bonuses or a
higher salary for flextime, child care, educational reimbursement or more
training. What's more important than pay is creating a good working
situation." He encourages job hunters to "look for an organization
that delivers benefits that match those you want."
No matter how altruistic it may sound to make quality of life
more important than annual income, job hunters still should "make sure the
money is there before considering the other options," said Paul J.
Gonzales, managing principal of Compensation Services, Inc., a consulting firm
in Itasca, Ill., and president of the Chicago Compensation Association.
"Your salary should be equitable. It's a way of measuring self-worth and
you'll be unhappy in your job if you're dissatisfied. You also need enough money
to maintain your style of living."
Gonzales, whose firm has a branch in Orlando, Fla., has an
MBA and teaches compensation courses at National-Louis University. He has four
children and says he, too, has seen the emphasis shift among his own children to
quality of life from annual salaries.
to place other values above pay - but don't ignore pay," he warns.
2001 Charleston Gazette. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All
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