How to Evaluate your Total Compensation Package

If you have multiple job offers from companies you’ve pursued for your next career move, how do you decide which company is best for your goals and needs?

Some offers may sound more tempting than others and it can be overwhelming trying to dissect and understand which is right for your needs. What if Company A has a higher salary but Company B has a more comprehensive healthcare plan? What if your current job counter offers and puts a raise on the table?

This guide will walk through how job seekers in any industry can evaluate total compensation package offers against each other.

💡 Keep reading to learn more or skip to the compensation calculator.


 

What is Total Compensation?

Difference between Compensation and Salary

Compensation includes more than just salary.

A total compensation package includes your salary as well as the benefits, perks, and additional rewards extended by an organization to its team members. These different elements can be monetary and/or non-monetary — often with great variation from employer to employer.

Difference between Benefits and Perks

Benefits are a part of your salary, while perks are added incentives.

A company’s benefits and perks are invaluable. Not only do they help offset the cost of expensive services like medical insurance, but they also support you as a whole person — both inside and outside of work. Your skills, the time and quality you put into your work is worth more than just a dollar amount.

At Seer, we offer a breadth of benefits and perks aimed at enabling our team to be their best selves. A few examples:

Benefits (Monetary) Perks (Non-Monetary)
401K Matching Flexible Work Schedule
Profit Sharing Unlimited PTO
Student Loan Repayment Growth Opportunities
Professional Development Budget Mental Health Support

As new challenges and roadblocks are identified for our team, new benefits and perks are released to better support them.

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Evaluate Total Compensation

What’s most critical in your total compensation package is always going to be unique to you. Weighing each element against your values and needs will help you align yourself to what structure suits your life situation best.

When a prospective employer is approaching you with a job offer, it’s important to know which parts of the full compensation package are most appealing. If all your preferred elements are present and adequate in your offer, then you’re in good shape!

But if not, now’s the time to talk about what should be included or taken out for this particular job based on their importance to you personally — that way there won’t be any surprises down the line.

Step #1: Determine What’s Important

We all have our own life circumstances making different benefits more or less valuable. That is why it’s important to know what healthcare, retirement options, and more your new endeavor offers.

To help you best evaluate the various aspects of your job offer, take the first step to understanding how personal life factors impact various benefit offerings.

For example, team members with kiddos would want to know if healthcare covers dependents and at what rate. Or for the digital nomads, you’d want to ensure you have the freedom to work from where you want.

So take a moment and ask yourself, what are you looking for in a job? If you understand the necessity of having an organization support you holistically, write down the top three and top five factors you’re seeking support from an employer in the next phase of your career.

Example Compensation Evaluation

“I have two children I care for (one who needs glasses and braces). I have $10,000 left in student loan debt. I need to be able to freely work from home. I want to accelerate my career so I can retire at 50.”

This person should prioritize the following when evaluating compensation packages:

  • Does the healthcare plan cover dental and vision for dependents? What’s the cost of copay?
  • Does the company offer tuition reimbursement? If so, how much?
  • Does the company offer assistance in utilities for remote team members?
  • Does the company offer financial assistance for professional development?
  • What does the 401k plan look like? When does someone qualify?

Step #2: Do Your Research

Now that you understand what you value in a compensation package, the second step when evaluating potential jobs should be to do research.

Consider what industry-standard pay ranges are in your region and which companies offer benefits you want — tools like Glassdoor make this task easier than ever before! Take an hour to comb through industry standards on salary and compensation to compare against your offer.

Step #3: Ask for Details

Benefits vary from plan to plan, and the details matter. Choosing a new employer is a huge life decision impacting your financial, professional, and personal wellbeing. With that, get all the information you need to make an informed decision. No question is too small, too silly, or not worth the ask. It’s your future — there’s nothing to be shy about.

Take your list of your non-negotiables and ask about each one, so that you can make an educated decision on what could be negotiated in order for them to offer something more appealing specifically tailored around your needs.

Asking questions about the finer details of a job offer may feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to get all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The more you know about what a company offers to employees, and how they stack up against other companies in your industry or field of interest; the better off things will be for both parties down the line.

Example Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

We’ve gathered questions for you to consider in four categories: flexible schedules, financial support, healthcare coverage, and professional development.

Flexible Schedules:

  • How much paid time off is provided for holidays, vacation, and sick days?
  • Do unused vacation days roll over?
  • Are work hours flexible?

Financial Support:

  • What are the retirement benefits?
  • Are employee contributions matched and/or tax deferred?
  • What does the promotion structure look like? Are there annual raises?
  • Is there a profit share program?
  • Is there a tuition reimbursement program?

Healthcare Coverage:

  • How much do employees contribute for individual and family coverage?
  • Is there a health care flexible spending plan?
  • Is there a deductible and what portion of doctor visits is the employee responsible for?
  • Is domestic partner coverage available?
  • Does the employer provide life insurance? How much?

Professional Development:

  • Does the employer reimburse for attendance at conferences and workshops?
  • Does the employer help pay for certifications and courses?

 

Calculate Total Compensation

As discussed, there are so many different elements to consider when comparing different opportunities. Trying to make an apples to apples comparison on compensation packages can be overwhelming and intimidating– on top of all the other feelings you may be experiencing when considering a big life change.

Even if Seer isn’t on your prospective employer list, we hope you find value in using our total compensation calculator.

 

Total Compensation Calculator (Template)

Seer’s total compensation calculator empowers job seekers with a robust framework to calculate and compare total compensation packages.

In one view, you can evaluate Seer, your existing total compensation package, and any other opportunities you may be exploring. There should be no black boxes in your compensation package. This template helps make that possible:

COPY THE TEMPLATE

 

How to Compare Total Compensation Packages

The first tab shows 3 different compensation plans at Seer (hello transparency!) and the second a framework for any other opportunities you may be exploring.

Discover your Total Compensation at Seer (Sheet 1)

  1. Identify which column best suits you. Columns D-F showcase each of Seer’s benefits packages, depending on your unique circumstance.
  2. Enter your offered salary in Row 5. Watch the dollar signs roll!
  3. Review your total compensation for years 1-3. Review total compensation for year 0-1 in Row 19, Review total compensation for year 1-2 in Row 26, Review total compensation for year 2-3 in Row 33.

Compare Competing Offers (Sheet 2)

  1. Enter your desired / offered Seer salary in cell D5. The following cells in column D will auto-populate with Seer’s total compensation package.
  2. Enter figures from other opportunities in Columns E-G. Don’t have the data? Ask!
  3. Compare total compensation side-by-side in Rows 19, 29, and 39.

 

Making the Decision

You made it! After all that deliberation — you’ve evaluated your offers, you’ve leveraged our total compensation calculator. Now it’s time to make a decision on what job offer to accept and start the next step in your career.

Go ahead and send that email, sign that offer letter, and relish in the change and next move. This is all because of YOU! Congrats on the new gig — we’re proud of ya.

We’re Hiring and We’d Love to Meet You!

Learn more about Seer Careers or check out our open positions below:

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