"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
Here is a scenario that plays out all too often in the hiring world:
Employee (interviewing): "May I ask about your benefits package?"
VP: "We have a full package, including health benefits."
Employee: "Great! I have a family and health insurance is a must for us!"
VP: "You will be interested to know that our benefits start from Day 1, then."
A few weeks pass, and Employee is hired at the company.
VP: "And in this email, we explain the benefits package you showed interest in."
Employee: "I can't seem to find the health insurance portion."
VP: "Oh, the health insurance starts after 90 days."
Employee is dismayed, as part of what was expected was health insurance from Day 1, as had been promised.
Several weeks pass. Employee is doing well on the job, and 90 days is coming up:
Employee: "I have heard from the payroll company about the 401k, but still no word from them about health insurance. My 90-day mark is coming up soon."
VP: "Oh, well the health insurance doesn't kick in until the first day of the month following your 90-day mark, so they may not have sent it yet."
Employee is yet again feeling confused. Starting to get angry. Yet, he waits, and asks again after the first of the month following his 90-days.
Employee: "It is the first of June. My 90-day mark was May 8. Should I have heard from the payroll company yet about health insurance?"
VP: "Yes, you should have heard by now. Why don't you give them a call?"
Confused, Employee calls Payroll company, trying to get answers:
Employee: "Hi, my name is John, and I work for RPM Turbo Cash (fictional name, of course). My manager told me to call about when I am eligible for the health insurance. I need to sign up. My family has been without health coverage for nearly four months!"
Payroll Company: "Oh, RPM Turbo Cash does not participate in our health insurance offerings. I'm sorry."
Confused, Employee doesn't know where to turn. He feels misled, and is understandably angry. What's worse, his son needs surgery, and he hasn't the money on hand to pay for it.
What a dilemma!
Readers, this or something similar happens all too often. Most notably, at companies that employ fewer than 100 people. Companies of this size often use payroll and benefit partner companies, like ADP or Insperity. Prospective employees should ask detailed questions about needed benefits. If the hiring influence is unsure, ask more questions! Ask to speak with the payroll company if need be.
Make no mistake, having a suitable benefit package is a huge part of proper fit with any company. Do not be afraid to get clarification. Trust your instincts - if the hiring manager sounds unsure, or just blows over the benefits without detail, ask more! It is your future after all!