Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the June 24, 2002 issue of QuintZine.
Two hundred of the largest industrial and service corporations in the United States have allocated more than 15 percent of shares outstanding for management and employee incentives. Meanwhile, the top 100 dot-coms have reserved more than a third of corporate shares for stock-based incentives, according to a study of equity use released by executive compensation consultants Pearl Meyer & Partners.
The TrueCareers survey found that 40 percent of respondents research a company’s severance and outplacement policies before they apply. The volatile labor market is the main reason some 59 percent of the TrueCareers respondents said they want up-front agreements. Another 18 percent said they learned their lesson after past layoffs for which they were unprepared financially. The going rate for severance is about two weeks’ pay for every year of service, but policies vary widely from company to company. Prospective employees can always ask for guarantees of other assistance, such as outplacement services and extended health-insurance coverage.
- Men valued compensation above all else, while women put employee benefits first.
- Compensation was third on the women’s list, after opportunities to develop their skills.
- Professionals in the survey valued skill-development opportunities the most, while clerical workers cared little about them; they wanted employee benefits and job security.
- Those who earned more than $100,000 a year ranked compensation first.
- People earning less than $30,000 yearned, above all, for job security.
- Every group surveyed placed some importance on benefits — except the under-30’s, who did not even rank benefits among their top five concerns.
- The young workers’ hit parade included opportunities to develop skills; chances for promotion; compensation; vacations; and having an appealing culture and colleagues.
In another poll, Randstad North America, an employment consulting firm in Atlanta, asked employees which ”hard benefits” and ”soft” workplace factors would be most decisive in making a stay-or-leave decision. The survey, which did not break out respondents by demographics or by profession, found that:
- Health insurance was by far the most valued hard benefit, ranking significantly ahead of pay.
- Those who were polled attached relatively little importance to market- and performance-linked benefits like stock options, profit sharing or ”creative incentives.”
- As for a company’s soft attributes, the factor cited most often by respondents was whether they liked the people with whom they worked.
- A ”pleasant work environment” and an easy commute tied for second place.
In yet another poll, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asked 1,218 college seniors entering the work force to rank the importance of 20 benefits:
- Again, health insurance was the winner, followed by 401(K) plans, annual raises, life insurance, dental insurance and pension plans.
- Day care centers ranked 19th out of 20, not surprising because the respondents were unlikely to have children.
- Also near the bottom were several perks that companies use to court young workers: casual-dress policies, on-site fitness centers and social activities.
Review all our Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.