There's an interesting new trend happening in talent acquisition for millennials as the competition continues to be fierce for coveted employees. As this generation enters the marketplace with staggering education debt, many companies have created education relief benefits to attract them.
Like the mobility industry did years ago during the financial and real estate market melt down, companies are offering education repayment benefits, often in lieu of higher compensation packages to provide some financial relief and attract talent.
As the home ownership rate continues to drop in the U.S., this can be a cost effective way to add a differentiating benefit with a net-zero sum addition to a company's overall relocation program costs.
For industries with lower than average home ownership rates (e.g., technology, entertainment and sports), education debt relief can be another effective way for talent acquisition professionals to address the needs of the millennial generation.
Remember when companies offered college graduates a job with a few weeks of vacation, medical and dental insurance and a 401(k) plan? Well, those days are gone. The millennials streaming into the workforce today, at companies both big and small, are expecting and getting benefits that baby boomers wouldn't even have thought of — or dared ask for. Among them: pet insurance, paid volunteering opportunities and student-loan repayment help, just to name a few. What's more surprising is that millennials are even willing to take less pay for these benefits — a plus that puts many small businesses having difficulty making payroll each month back in the game to compete for great talent. According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, 7 percent of the 2030 small businesses surveyed cite cost of labor as a critical issue.