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When starting a new job, who is the correct person to ask about the benefits mentioned in the job description and offer letter, the direct manager of the new employee, the internal recruiter who handled the employee's application, or human resources at the new employer?

And what is the polite and professional way to ask to start using/benefiting from the benefits mentioned in the job description and offer letter?

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    In most cases this will be covered in your first day during "onboarding". Start with HR.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 11:55
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    @Hilmar good point. So is it best to wait for the first day of work instead of asking via email before the first day?
    – Sa2
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 13:37
  • Are those benefits mentioned in the contract? If they're not mentioned, does the contract have a clause that says the contract supersede any other agreement? And what about the employee manual? Does the contract refer to the employee manual? Have you read the employee manual? Do you have a benefit in mind you want to ask about? Generally, you go to your HR for these kinds of things. Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

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who is the correct person to ask about the benefits mentioned in the job description and offer letter

If you haven't yet accepted the offer and need to understand the benefits in order to make your decision, start by talking to the hiring manager. They may be able to answer your question directly, or get you the answer.

If you have already been hired, talk to HR about benefits.

And what is the polite and professional way to ask to start using/benefiting from the benefits

That depends on which benefit you wish to start. Usually either HR, your manager, or both are involved.

For example, if you wish to take time off most companies require you to start by talking with your manager.

If you wish to start health insurance, you would talk with HR.

And if (as you wrote in your other question) you want to take a few hours off for an appointment, you talk to your boss face-to-face or on the telephone, and explain what you need and why.

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  • This talk with HR, do you mean by email or face-to-face?
    – Sa2
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 13:38
  • If by email, is it best to wait for the first day of work instead of asking via email before the first day?
    – Sa2
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 13:39
  • @Sa2, It completely depends on the benefit you want to ask about. For instance, if they promised you a company apartment for the first week/month, you better get on that right away. It takes time to set up such things. The same goes for relocation reimbursement expenses, or visa issues. Some issues can't wait. Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 20:11
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As was mentioned before, before employment, ask the hiring manager or boss or whoever your contact is. Ideally they give you some information from a current employee that you can ask.

In my personal experience the best thing you can do is ask other employees. For some reason managers always try to downplay benefits.

For example I got an offer with remote work option. The manager told me that it is only 2 days a week. When I spoke to an employee he told me that he has been at home working for 6 months in a row. It is probably what the manager really wants vs. what is actual policy?

I also had once a manager that told me on my first day that I HAVE to take a break between 12 and 1 for half an hour MAX. It wasnt even 3 days later when the other employees invited me to lunch at like 2 and we would sit there for over an hour, with the manager.

Overall I think talking to an employee beforehand or at your first day speaks volume.

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