With unemployment, particularly in the IT, at the lowest levels seen in decades, competition for top talent is fierce. It is important to look past salary to understand the full value of an offer.
Employers are using a variety of benefit incentives to attract and retain IT staff. What should you look for in a benefits package? That depends on your specific life situation. It is good to have
a broad understanding of various benefits that are being offered so that you can understand the package that is right for you. Here are 18 benefits to consider when you are ready to make
your next career move.

Medical Insurance
This is likely the most important benefit and one that you should insist on having. Make sure to get a solid understanding of exactly what the insurance plan covers. How much will you have to pay in co-pays and deductibles? How much do you have to pay for each pay period for the plan? Does the plan cover only you, or you plus your dependents? Does coverage start immediately, or is there a waiting period?

Health Club Allowance or Membership
Many employers are realizing the cost savings of a healthy workforce. It is not uncommon to find various health club-related benefits, from reimbursement to onsite facilities, to
complimentary memberships.

Dental Insurance
With dental insurance coverage can vary tremendously from plan to plan. Look at the plans carefully to determine if the benefits outweigh the costs to you.

Vision Insurance
If you wear corrective lenses this coverage is for you. Otherwise, see if you can refuse this coverage along with plan costs that are deducted from your paycheck.

Life Insurance
Many employers will offer a basic life insurance plan with the option for the employee to expand coverage for an additional premium.

401(k)
This is a great way to defer taxes and build a nest egg. All plans are not equal, and you should ask a few questions. Does the company match contributions, and if so, how much do they match? How long does it take for company contributions to vest? What are maximum contributions?

Vacation
This is the most familiar benefit. However, there are a few things you’ll want to know. When will you be eligible for vacation? What happens with unused days?

Holidays
Most employers in the US provide 6 – 8 paid holidays annually (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas being the standard six). Many employers offer additional paid holidays. Make a simple comparison when you receive offers.

Personal Days
The important thing to understand about personal days are how many are provided, and what happens to unused days at the end of the year.

Tuition Reimbursement
This is an important benefit, particularly when it comes to IT staffing. Many certifications require continuing education for an employee to stay current. Tuition reimbursement is a very valuable benefit for these people, along with staff who are furthering their education.

Mobile Phone Reimbursement or Allowance
If you will be required to use your mobile phone to perform your job duties, it is likely that your employer will have a reimbursement or allowance plan. If they do not have one, consult your tax professional to see if these expenses can be deducted from your income.

Public Transportation Reimbursement
Many municipalities offer employers bulk discounts on passes to encourage employees to utilize public transportation. Ask if your prospective employer provides public transportation passes or has a reimbursement plan.

Parking Allowance or Designated Space
If you are working in an urban environment, this benefit could be worth thousands of dollars per year to you.

Maternity and Paternity Leave
Maternity leave is a very common benefit, while paternity leave is increasing. The important things to understand are the paid vs unpaid components. For example, often employers will provide a certain number of paid weeks followed by an equivalent number of unpaid weeks leave.

Childcare Facilities
It is becoming more common for employers to provide onsite childcare at a discount, or for free. For employees with young children, this equates to several thousands of dollars per year in savings.

Flex Time and Telecommuting
Over 4 million employees currently work from home at least part of the time, and this is expanding rapidly. Reduced commute times, flexible hours, and conveniences like the ability to meet repair or service technicians at home improve quality of life.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
ESOPs are a great way to participate in the ownership of your company. Many plans allow you to purchase the stock at a discounted rate, and most allow you to participate with zero brokerage fees.

Stock Options
Unless you are in an executive position or working for a startup, you’ll not likely have stock options benefits. If you do, it is important to talk to your financial advisor to fully understand
the package being offered.

As you can see, there are many specific benefits that comprise a package. Obviously, these are of greater or lesser value to you based on your personal situation. The important thing is to find a package that is tailored to your life and lifestyle.

Danielle Foppe is a Lead Technical Recruiter at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle directly at dfoppe@bct-corp.com or call us at 972-267-7950. Business Centric Technology specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.