I’m sick of seeing so many job adverts where I know I could do the job but they say “Salary Competitive”. This is not a salary! Job applications require time, effort, research, travel to interviews, a new outfit, emotional investment. To not even know what might be offered is absurd. But would you feel confident to ask the question – how much?
Many women in particularly wouldn’t.
A job isn’t just a salary either. There are so many other aspects to a job which would make it more appealing, especially to parents. These are known as non-pay benefits.
They’re incentives to make you feel valued and rewarded for staying with an organisation but for some reason, they’re not frequently listed in the job advert. I’m worried that’s because the company may think that people are applying for the “wrong” reasons. Whereas actually, I think they’re missing a trick.
If a job advert mentioned they offer flexible working as standard, they’re likely to get people applying who have other interests or commitments outside of work (not just kids or elderly parents who require care).
But whatever these other commitments are, means that the applicant is active outside of work, plays a part in their communitY and is likely to have transferable skills that can be utilised in the workplace.
If a business already does flexible working then it should be clearly advertised as part of the job description. For more information on flexible working, make sure you know your rights to apply by clicking here.
Does the job offer free healthcare or discounted schemes? Is it just for the employee or does include the wider family? I’ve had to take a day off today to look after my son who is poorly. On this occasion private healthcare wouldn’t have made a difference but if it was something more serious, a quicker assessment could be the difference between me having a couple of days off to a couple of months.
Its in your employers interest to have these schemes in place and importantly advertise it and discuss it freely at interview. My employer is now offering everyone free flu jab vouchers and although only worth around £10 each, its still a saving and I feel they care about my health.
It would take a bold person at the end of an interview when invited to ask question, bring up whether the company has any shopping discount arrangements with any local businesses or national chains. BUT why should it be?
This is a normal thing for companies to do these days. It’s an added perk which can make a big difference to a family’s lifestyle. It could mean they can book a holiday for less or even just get a discounted restaurant meal out more often.
Many companies offer a number of days a year to employees that need time off to look after family (older or younger) but again, its understandable that few job applicants would feel comfy asking about this upfront for fear that it might sounds like they have a sickly family and know they’ll need additional time off before even starting. However, do it!
Ask the question about their family friendly policies and what these actually entail (that’s if they have one of course.)
How much are you paying for your gym membership at the moment? Wouldn’t you be more inclined to apply for a job if they mentioned in it that they offer free or discounted gym membership? That’s like a pay rise straight up if you’re already paying our for it!.
CAREER PROGRESSION OPPORTUNITIES
The opportunity to further climb the career ladder in the future is one of the main reasons people change jobs. They’re likely to feel stuck/over-looked in their current position so are willing to take a side-step move for increased opportunities in the future. In interview ask what the route is. Ask the interviewer where the current person in the role is going to? This will give you an idea of your future prospects.
You spend a lot of time at work so personal wellbeing is essential and workplace happiness does seem to becoming more topical. However, its often you don’t find out about lunchtime walking groups or bookclubs etc until you’re already in the role and browsing the staff noticeboard.
Get asking about the things which would make you happy in your job. I asked if there would be a window in my office at a recent job interview. Prior to this I’d been in two internal offices with no natural day light and it was killing me!
I can guarantee that no company is going to mention this is their job adverts but you can ask questions to find out more about job security. For example:
- Is the department currently under review or due to have one at any point during my contract?
- Is funding for my post likely to change and what happens if it does?
- For a fixed term post – ask about other projects ongoing and timescales, likelihood of redeployment into those instead etc.
Everyone that’s worked through the 2007 recession and beyond knows that jobs aren’t for life any more but in such an unstable world, most people are looking for a certain degree of job security, particularly if they’re looking to apply for a mortgage.
HOW IS LOYALTY VALUED?
My own organisation offers additional annual leave for long services at 5 years and 10 years. Is this something you could find out about on the company website where you’re looking to apply for a job though? If not, ask at interview.
If this is something which interests you or may do in the future, pick your employer now on this basis! Legally you cannot be penalised for applying for a job whilst pregnant and certainly not for just asking about their policy, although I do think this still occurs. You can read more about your recruitment rights whilst pregnant here.
I had a friend who worked for a large local company and they did a free fruit platter every morning for their staff and on a Friday it was pastries. Now that is the sort of thing EVERYONE deserves to know about! But on a serious note, lunches and coffees can add up if there isn’t an onside canteen so make sure getting this job isn’t going to leave you out of pocket!
Again, something that can make a significant dent into your monthly salary is the cost of parking just to go to work. Many companies only provide parking to those in senior positions and ironically, they’re probably the ones most likely to actually be able to afford paying for parking!
However, some companies do offer free parking to their staff so check out the details and ensure its not miles away and going to impact on your commute time.
I personally love being able to work from home on occasion. I can get on top of my laundry at lunch time. Be available for deliveries or boiler checks. Plus save some cash on commuting that day.
Some companies of course go to the extreme and provide a laptop so in theory you can “work from anywhere”. Just check the small print on this that you won’t be affected by any firewalls if you’re trying to log in from abroad.
If you’re looking to going back into work after maternity leave then I highly recommend you read my post How To Prepare For Interview Whilst On Maternity Leave and learn from my mistakes!