KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.--Beyond, The Career Network, today announced results from a national survey of more than 5, 000 job seekers, which revealed job seekers are looking for more unique employee benefits packages that can keep pace with modern financial concerns. While healthcare and 401(k) programs remain the most important benefits to job seekers, according to the Beyond survey the prospect of “student loan reimbursement” has emerged as a highly-desired offering. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of job seekers (89%) believe companies should offer student loan repayment as part of the benefits package, and 10% ranked student loan repayment HIGHER than paid vacation as the “most important” benefit.
According to the credit bureau Experian, the nationwide student loan debt reached an all-time record of $1.2 trillion in 2014. This data was supported by the Beyond survey, which revealed that 29% of job seeker respondents currently owe more than $35, 000 in student loans, with 20% stating that student loans regularly impact their ability to pay living expenses. In a healthy economy with more job opportunities to choose from, those saddled with student debt are seeking out employers offering repayment to help offset costly monthly payments. More than 67% of those surveyed said they would “absolutely” be more willing to accept a job offer if student loan repayment was included in the benefits package.
"401(k) matching doesn't mean much if you are spending all of your money paying off student loan debt, " said Joe Weinlick, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Beyond. "The hiring landscape is not as bleak as it was, and in a highly-competitive market companies, offering innovative benefits such as student loan reimbursement may have a leg up on the competition. In addition, student loan reimbursement could help retain Millennials, who have been famously less loyal and more likely to switch jobs than previous generations."
This concept of retention resonated with survey respondents, with 81% claiming that they would be more willing to stay with the company if leaving meant losing student loan repayment. But the survey also found that the method of doling out that repayment must be handled carefully. Among those interested in student loan repayment packages:
- 58% said receiving student loan repayment in small increments in each paycheck would be most enticing
- 29% would choose to receive a negotiated amount at the end of each year
- 13% said they would prefer a lump sum payment after a certain work anniversary
National student debt is now in the trillions of dollars, and in an election year has become a key political talking point for presidential candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the economy continues to improve, the landscape has shifted to become a buyer’s market, with job seekers more selective and often times deciding among several companies. Based on this recent Beyond survey, it’s clear that companies that offer student loan repayment could stand out in a competitive environment.
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Beyond, The Career Network, helps millions of professionals find jobs and advance their careers, while also serving as the premier destination for companies in need of top talent. Founded in 1998, Beyond gives its members a central location to search for millions of jobs and engage with original and curated career content from over 1, 400 sources. Beyond’s network of 500+ talent communities use integrated social features to help members discover relevant career news, advice and resources. Beyond was included in Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc. 500’ list and is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) portfolio company. For more information, please visit: www.Beyond.com.