Benefits Package: What Comes in Addition to the Salary in Armenia
Besides the projects and technologies the company uses, one of the ways to win the heart of a candidate is to offer a suite of perks and benefits that will greatly impact his/her life and create comfortable working and living conditions.

A compensation or benefits package is a competitive advantage that helps to keep the specialists. Plus, once a company becomes known for offering a good benefits plan, it gets easier to recruit talented employees.

So, what exactly is a benefits package? And what constitutes a solid employee-benefits plan?

To dive deep into the topic we went through the common practices used worldwide, and compared benefits packages of 45 Armenian IT companies.

What's a benefits package?
Perks and benefits vary from company to company, but it is always non-salary, indirect, mostly non-cash compensation. The package is provided by organizations in addition to the salary and can include just one component or be an extensive suite of goods.
Worldwide practice
Among the most commonly offered benefits are health insurance, any form of flexibility (flexible hours, work-from-home options, additional days off a year), and assistance in the educational process in form of tuition reimbursement or onsite courses.

Medical insurance
Many companies offer medical insurance with different levels of coverage. Some companies tend to comprise only the basics, while others extend the package to include close relatives. Health insurance is one of the most expensive benefits to provide, but from the candidates' side, that is a desirable perk that covers a huge expense in their budget.

Flexibility and better work-life balance are affordable perks for companies. Flexible hours and work-from-home options are highly valued by all kinds of employees from ones who just enjoy more freedom to parents who need options to fulfill family obligations.

Tuition assistance
A lot of companies invest in educating their employees. Some offer professional certification reimbursement, others onsite language courses, internal training, lunch and learns or in other form support educational initiatives. Tuition assistance is a perk, companies receive a direct return on their investment.

Harvard Business Review published results of a survey that shows that benefits that don't directly impact an individual's lifestyle and finances are less desirable. For example, things like food and coffee in the office, team-bonding activities, and retreats are not a top priority even though employees still enjoy them.
Zoom office
What's included in the benefits package at the company recognized as one of the best workplaces?
In 2019 Zoom Video Communications was recognized as the 2 best place to work, and the #1 IT company on the list compiled by Glassdoor.

The package provided to the employees includes both tangible and additional perks:
  • Medical insurance that includes also dental and vision benefits
  • Onsite gym and wellness program
  • Option
  • Performance bonuses
  • Parental leave
  • Paid sick days, paid volunteer time
  • Free daily meals
  • Stocked kitchen
  • Company's events
  • Job Training & Conferences
  • Mentorship program
What's offered on the Armenian market
We've collected information on benefits packages of 45 Armenian IT companies, all the information is public and was taken from the companies' websites or job-boards. The list includes all sorts of companies: from local startups and companies to branches and development centers of international corporations.

We didn't include stuff like coffee, cookies, and fruits to the list as almost all the companies with a rare exception mention that as something always available in the office. Most of the companies don't provide all the benefits right away but rather after the probation period. We didn't analyze that information the same as we didn't consider under what conditions and to what extent things like referral bonuses are arranged.
Top 3 on the list
Following the trends, medical insurance is the number one benefit provided by the majority of the companies. For example:
  • Webb Fontaine mentions that full medical insurance includes package options for family members.
  • Workfront provides health benefits within the ten days following the employee's first day.
  • Renderforest specifies that the package covers 1.5 million AMD per year.
  • Optym provides not only an insurance package for the employee and family members but also personal accident insurance.

Next on the list are regular team buildings, corporate events, parties or retreat, movie or game nights, happy hours, and all sorts of activities.
  • EventGeek organizes international company retreats. As the startup was created by two teams - one coming from San-Francisco, the other from Yerevan.
  • Webb Fontaine allocates a monthly team-building budget for each team.
  • RockBite Games organizes events like Mortal Kombat 11 tournament and Halloween parties.
Some companies may not mention team-buildings as a component of the benefits package as it's a part of the culture anyway. That's why the number may be higher than it is.
Trainings or any sort of assistance in the educational process is another big thing on the list.
  • Benivo provides PluralSight unlimited subscription.
  • Renderforest organizes English proficiency workshops for beginners and advanced learners every week.
  • Webb Fontaine provides professional certification fee reimbursement.
  • ServiceTitan allocates the learning and development budget.
  • Synergy encourages employees by lunch and learns sessions, semi-annual training, and certification programs.
  • Priotix includes both professional certification and college reimbursement.
In addition to trainings, 12 companies specifically mention language courses as a part of the benefits package.

According to Harvard Business Review, flexible hours and remote work opportunities are among the most desirable benefits. In Armenia 9 companies specifically mention flexible hours, 4 are open to work-from-home options. Conditions vary from company to company - some employees are not limited by the number of days they can work remotely, other companies narrow it down to a concrete number of days per month.

Companies that include flexible hours to the benefits package: PicsArt, Disqo, DataArt, SoloLearn, krisp, EventGeek, Fifth LLC, SmartClick, Devolon.
PicsArt, SFL, krisp, and RockBite Games are open to remote options.
PicsArt Office
A growing number of companies start to include stock options to the benefits package. Employee stock options give an employee an opportunity to buy a specified number of shares in a company at a specified price within a set period of time. It's usually the market price at the time the option is offered. An employee can purchase the shares at the set price and sell them when the stock has gone up or hold it for later.

Important note: stock options are not provided to every single employee at the company and conditions are determined for every single recipient. In some companies, only executives benefit from the options, while in others all senior-level developers.

Among the Armenian IT companies we compared, 8 of them offer employee stock options: Vineti, Workfront, ServiceTitan, SoloLearn, Optym, 10web, krisp, Benivo.

Additional financial support

There are a number of financial benefits: performance-based bonuses, referral bonuses, annual bonuses, or 13th salary as some companies call it. Digitain, PicsArt, Synergy, Webb Fontaine, Benivo provide financial support in case of marriage and childbirth, Birthdays. That doesn't mean that other companies don't organize Birthday celebrations and gifts.

In addition to that, Priotix provides financial services with preferential rates. Benivo provides pay later employee cash flow support.

Importance of the benefits package

For the candidates, perks of the package are obvious. Most of the items provide substantial financial support and greatly improve the quality of work and life.

From the company's side, the costs are high but a comprehensive benefits package helps to attract and retain talent as it shows that the company is investing in the well-being of the employees. And it helps to differentiate from competitors.
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