Imagine you’re a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed recent college grad. After years of studying and living off of ramen noodles, you’re excited to get a real job and start putting to work all the knowledge and skills. Like the average college grad in 2016, you’re also nervous about the $35,000 in student loan debt and the payments that start in just a few months. Luckily you’ve got many employers interested in hiring you, so you’re selective about who will be your employer of choice. Narrowing the list to two, you evaluate their benefit packages and focus on what’s most important to you at this time in your life:
Employer A: comprehensive health insurance; generous 401K match.
Employer B: comprehensive health insurance; student debt loan repayment; 401K with no match.
Which package appeals to you more?
Based on a recent survey by Beyond/Career Network* of job seekers, Employer B would likely win your heart. Retirement savings is important, but 89% want employers to offer student loan debt repayment as a benefit. A 401K match is not appealing if you can’t afford to contribute since you are repaying crushing student loan debt.
To repeat: 89% of job seekers value student loan debt repayment. Imagine the recruiting advantage providing this benefit would provide your organization! In 2016, it is time to walk a mile in the shoes of job applicants to understand what matters to them, then evaluate your benefit offerings. Are they in sync? If not, you’ll struggle to fill vacant jobs with the best candidates.