By Robert Stitt
We’ve heard a whole lot about the recession and unemployment rate for years now. Sadly, just because there are a lot of people out of work, that does not mean there are not jobs available in the marketplace or that there are plenty of qualified workers to fill those posts. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Despite the downturn in the economy and the large numbers of employees seeking positions, companies are scrambling to attract and retain the best personnel. Research has shown that the draw for many millennials is not the same as it was for previous generations. Millennials are not just seeking salaries, they are seeking places that they belong. As a result, companies are changing their recurring strategies and benefits packages.
One company, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a global consulting and accounting firm, upped the ante for companies who offer tuition assistance to their employees by offering to pay off a portion of their employee’s student loan debt. According to Black Enterprise, PwC associates and senior associates will receive up to $1,200 a year, for up to six years, to pay off their student loans. The payback plan has no strings attached, either. Employees do not need to stay at PwC for any certain number of years or pay any of the money back if they leave.
Michael Fenlon, director of PwC’s Global Talent says, “student loan debt impacts the ability to save for retirement, so it has lots of secondary impact as well. We saw this as a way to provide leadership on a major societal issue, as well as something that’s really important to our people.”
According to the Society for Human Resources Management, student loan repayment is a benefit offered by only about 3 percent of companies. This program is definitely going to help PwC attract and recruit new talent.
Student loan repayment isn’t the only perk companies are offering. When it comes to overall compensation, Glassdoor puts Google at the top of the list. The firm offers “competitive salaries, in-house physicians, fitness centers, free food, and laundry.” While not all companies offering great benefits packages are in the tech sector, a good number of them are. For example, also on Glassdoor’s list: Facebook, Adobe, and Microsoft, come in at number three, four, and 18, respectively.
Looking for someplace outside the tech industry? Costco came in at number two on the list, USAA is number 7, Chevron is number 8, and Salesforce in number 9.