Beyond the Salary: Understanding Compensation Packages

Money, Money, Money. Often when job seekers are looking for a new job, they concentrate on the money. But, when a recruiter calls with some initial questions about experience and qualifications, many candidates get stuck when asked, “What was your compensation at your last employer?”. Many times the response we hear is “Are you asking what was my salary?”. Salary is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to compensation and many times job seekers have not considered everything when approached with this question.

In regards to candidates preparing for the compensation talk, CorTalent Sr. Talent Partner Nikki Francois says, “I think (it is important) to be aware of where the market is at and doing research on your end.” She continues, “Don’t cut yourself short focusing just on the compensation. Focus on the opportunity, focus on the impact and you will find the success you are looking for.”

Angela Harder, CorTalent Sr Talent Partner thinks candidates should also consider the size of the company. “…large companies have very specific graded compensation plans, while small companies might have a wider range of compensation but how does that translate to your background and compensation expectations?” Setting appropriate expectations can be essential when discussing compensation. Just because you made $100,000 at a small company, doesn’t mean you are able to hop into a larger company and expect the same.

Some of the hot considerations candidates are looking at are company culture, PTO, Flex Hours and Contributions for entry to mid-level position, while incentive packages and future compensation growth tend to be compensation considerations for Sales and Executive level candidates.

For whatever position you are applying for, things to ask prospective employers:

1. What is the potential growth in compensation after review periods? (Salary and Bonus)

2. How much are you contributing to employee healthcare and retirement packages?

3. How many PTO days and flex-hours are offered?

4. Do you offer compensation bonus when the company has a profitable year?