07 Jul 5 Perks Job Seekers Should Weigh (Beyond Money)
For many professionals, startup hubs like San Francisco and Seattle are job-hunting nirvana. The “Big Guys” like Facebook and Google are growing, and there is the seemingly endless stream of startups elbowing each other to win over the most talented employees.
In an environment like this one, you couldn’t blame an in-demand developer, for example, for picking one opportunity over all others based solely on what the paycheck will look like. When multiple companies want you on their team, I suggest you weigh several factors as part of your decision, rather than letting salary trump all.
I spoke to Anthony Smith, CEO and founder of Insightly, a CRM and project management solution for small businesses, and based on his experience both growing his career and attracting talent, he recommends the following:
1. Startup table stakes
Let’s get this one out of the way first. If you work in tech, you can pretty much expect to find perks such as free snacks and a stocked fridge in the break room, and even complimentary massages from time to time. Anthony is clear. He says, “These kinds of amenities have become as standard as health insurance and retirement savings plans, so check them off your list and move on to considering more substantive benefits.”
2. Remote work options
If spending 20 percent of your day commuting is not something you want to do, look for potential employers that offer remote work options. “Insightly uses several different tools to ensure off-site employees stay connected to the company culture and happenings. For example, we use Google Hangouts for face-to-face meetings and Yammer, a social network for businesses, allowing employees to collaborate and provide instant updates when videoconferencing isn’t necessary,” says Anthony. Does your future company use collaborative software? Videoconferencing? Team chat sessions? The availability of these tools will indicate the level of support a company provides to its remote workforce.
3. A voice in decision-making and cross-departmental responsibility
This is an area in which smaller employers, especially startups, can offer potential employees more attractive benefits than larger companies. Anthony shares, “In the absence of the bureaucracy that characterizes so many big enterprises, our employees have the chance to guide company direction and weigh in on projects beyond their defined roles or departments. That kind of flexibility fuels professional growth much more quickly than would be possible in a large enterprise.”
4. Employee happiness
“If you’re going in for an interview,” says Anthony, “you can see this onsite. We challenge and try to keep our employees inspired by their work.” If you’re not interviewing onsite, I recommend researching employee happiness on job boards and company review sites such as Glassdoor.com. Anthony continues, “The cohesion and collegiality of the team will influence your ability to succeed and thrive in the job, and it’s an essential benefit for most professionals.”
5. Frequent, clear communication
Do employees know what’s happening in their company? Do they understand the vision of its leadership? Are they updated when the company signs a big new customer or hits a revenue milestone? Do executives take the time to talk with employees about their work? Anthony Smith, CEO of Insightly, says, “I’ve always made it a point to be receptive to employee feedback. If an employee disagrees with a policy or has a suggestion to change an existing process, I want the executive team to listen and enact change.” Don’t take it for granted that every employer listens to employee suggestions or offers clear frequent communication at the individual, departmental, and company level – ask.
Job seekers, with the improved job search skills you are learning on the Business Journals’ Career Mojo column AND the right skill match with your prospective employer, you will be in a position to choose. Choose wisely and carefully!
And congratulations on that job offer!