With graduation season fast approaching and job seekers flooding the market, companies are leveraging their unique benefits to attract top talent from universities and programs around the nation. We’ve rounded up some of the most progressive benefits companies and organizations are providing new employees.
Tuition reimbursement and/or student loan repayments
According to IonTuition, more than eight in 10 workers agree that help with paying student loans would be a valuable perk, and many companies are now starting to help employees pay back their student loans. Students face more than $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, and that number is growing rapidly. Companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) offers its employees $1,200 a year strictly toward student loan debt, while others offer 529 savings account contributions for future education.
Paid volunteer time
Numerous employer studies show that employees increasingly value companies that emphasize doing good in the world. To help their employees connect with their communities and cultivate a sense of giving back, many companies now offer paid time off for employees to volunteer in their communities. United Way Worldwide offers eight paid volunteer hours a month to encourage employees to connect directly to the issues that matter most to them.
Not a morning person? Prefer a night-owl schedule? Working remotely or setting your own hours is increasing becoming the norm for many companies, like LivingSocial, Upwork and VMWare, where employees have the flexibility to work around their own schedules. Other organizations, like World Wildlife Fund, offer a flexible schedule where employees receive every other Friday off for personal use, year-round.
Professional development opportunities
Professional development may not sound like something you’d ask about at your first job, but it is one of the few perks that almost every company offers. At Deloitte, employees can utilize a paid, professional growth sabbatical to help them build a new set of skills over the course of three to six months. Other opportunities can range from paid conferences and classes, to time off for sitting on a board or teaching a class locally.
Studies show that pets help reduce stress and anxiety, so it’s no wonder many offices are moving toward being more pet-friendly. National Geographic offers employees the opportunity to bring their pups into work during “BarkFest” week every year. Even Amazon occasionally showcases their office pups on social media!
Health and wellness
Aside from health insurance, many companies, like Google and Zappos, offer unique health and wellness benefits for employees. Perks can include on-site gyms, access to personal trainers, healthy snack options and employee health challenges to motivate everyone to move more during the day. Some even offer ping pong tables, nap nods and massage rooms for a quick break from the daily grind.
The next time you consider a career move, look at your prospective employer’s benefits and consider the entire compensation package before deciding on the right job. Sometimes, the benefits can outweigh the salary or the position and offer you a unique opportunity you might not have previously considered.