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The second most important thing to list on your job postings

Lately, I’m heartened by my nonprofit colleagues, both locally and nationally, who advocate for listing salary ranges on job postings. I have friends in the sector who draw the line at sharing job descriptions without this information because they perpetuate gender and racial pay inequity

I’m here to advocate that the second most important thing to list on your job postings after salary ranges are benefits. And I’m not talking about a description like “comprehensive benefits package,” which tells people virtually nothing. I’m talking about a link to your benefits manual or precise breakdown of what the employer pays for its labor force.

As nonprofit professionals, we’re dedicated to community and often come to this line of work with passion, but we’re also people with mortgages and rent payments and student debt, who need to improve our bottom line with each career step we take. And the reality is that our employer’s benefits package (or lack thereof) can either help us build assets and wealth or erode our financial stability.

Here are a few examples of the ways that benefit transparency may play out:

Health insurance. Consider the ways that people may be responsible for their own health insurance or that of other people (their kid, partner, parents). On your job posting, list the precise costs to the employee, such as, “Employer pays 70% of an employee’s health insurance premium and 25% of premiums for dependents or spouses.” Note which type of benefit is provided (e.g. Preferred Provider Option (PPO) plan, HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan, Health Savings Account, or a stipend to use toward acquiring insurance alone on the open market). These things matter to people. When I was denied health insurance on the private market at age 27 for a relatively minor pre-existing condition, it mattered to me, and I will never forget that experience. Consider people with chronic health conditions or a person who needs an upcoming surgery and wants to know what their out-of-pocket expenses will be.

Retirement. Given the substantial wealth gaps that women and people of color experience on a daily basis, our future financial wellness is at stake. In a recent TD Ameritrade study, 66% of millennials (ages 23-38) reported being behind in their retirement savings. How soon into their employment employees can opt-in to retirement savings, what type of plan an employer offers, and whether and how much they match add up to a lot of factors influencing employees’ financial future. 

Short-term and long-term disability insurance. Consider the ways your benefit offerings either complement or work against your mission. A number of years ago, I interviewed at an organization that did not offer disability insurance but primarily served people with disabilities. Their recommendation was to ask my private insurance agency what a plan would cost, and my insurer didn’t offer short-term disability plans to individuals. Since short-term disability insurance is a benefit that often gets used by people who birth babies, it comes with a lot of baggage when one inquires about it. Make it easy, avoid awkward and illegal inquiries about pregnancy status or intention, and just list it in the job posting!

Paid time off and holidays observed. Friends, we have to stop saying “generous PTO package” if and when the truth is closer to the “legal minimum amount of paid time off.” It’s also important to know which holidays your office observes by closing or giving people the day off, whether people can choose floating holidays, etc.

Tuition reimbursement or professional development stipends. Can employees go to an annual conference of their choosing or get a professional certification paid for? That might make your open position worth their while, so list it.

So that’s it – while we’re at it, being transparent about salaries, let’s add benefits to the equation. 


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