Shola, a colleague’s acquaintance, once reached out to her to rant. It was the end of her first month in her new workplace, and she had just seen her salary; it was less than what she had asked for during her interview and she hadn’t taken out time to read through the offer letter as she was carried away by the euphoria of finally getting a dream job with her dream company.
During negotiation, she had asked for a monthly remuneration of N500,000—an average industry price for a mid-level designer. What she didn’t specify was if the N500,000 was a gross pay or net pay, and the recruiter who was in a hurry to close out the role didn’t probe or clarify. She was shocked to receive the alert of N400,000 and reached out to HR to ask why.
There are a lot of Sholas who have been victims of circumstances because they didn’t ask questions; some have missed out on additional bonuses like relocation allowances, performance bonuses, and lots more. Below are a few components of compensation and benefits you should watch out for.
1. Gross vs Net pay: This probably deserves a whole article on its own but it is always very important to know the difference between your gross and net pay, and to know which you are asking for when you are in the middle of salary negotiations. Your gross salary contains your net salary plus some deductibles like PAYE, PENSIONS, ECS, NHF and other stipulated deductions, depending on the country you are in. Please, as a talent always clarify during salary negotiations, and as a recruiter always ensure this is passed across with clarity
2. Relocation allowance: A friend recently shared how she got an offer from a multinational and was excited until she discovered that another colleague who was also hired around the same time but was a foreigner, got a lot of allowances including relocation allowance. If you work with a multinational or even a local company, one of the benefits you should be keen about and watch out for is relocation allowance/assistance/bonus. While this is neither mandatory nor obligatory, there are a couple of companies that offer different types of relocation allowance or assistance. For some companies, they might provide real accommodation, for some, it might be relocation allowance or relief, while for some, it might be assistance like an interest-free loan or a waiver. Whatever it is, ensure that you ask the recruiter if there are relocation allowances.
3. Transport allowance: It is 2022 and remote and hybrid working are becoming more ubiquitous. However, some organizations still cherish on-site work, either due to the peculiarity of the role, the company or the industry. In scenarios like this, some companies provide either a transport allowance, a company vehicle or a staff bus that aids mobility. It is important that you ask if the organization has any policy around this allowance if it is going to be a fully onsite job.
4. Performance bonus: For roles like sales, marketing and other related roles, there are incentives like performance bonuses, majorly to encourage employees to go the extra mile with their deliverables. It is one of the compensation component that is often not stipulated in the offer letter so you have to find out yourself.
5. Wardrobe allowance: Beyond being a component of your monthly remuneration, there are actually organizations that pay wardrobe allowance separately. Some even have a contract with certain fashion brands in charge of making and delivering outfits to employees at different intervals. Won’t you love to work with such organizations?
6. Data allowance/gadget provision: The world is digital and to make staff function optimally, companies provide data allowances and sometimes go a step further to buy their employees certain types of gadgets befitting their roles. This might not be disclosed at the interview or salary negotiation stage, but might be one of the perks of the roles.
There are other components like lunch allowance, vacation, sign-on bonus, retention bonus, etc. thus, it is very important as an employee that you make your research and find out what is obtainable with each organization before starting a salary negotiation.