As employers compete to hire top-tier talent, it’s important for them to be aware of which types of benefits most appeal to new graduates. Employers stand out when they offer benefits that align with the needs of the demographics they are seeking to hire. This group is one to look out for since every year, on average, about 1.1 million recent college graduates enter the US labor force.
Beyond a competitive salary, new grads are looking for perks that align with their current career and life circumstances. As young professionals that are mostly from Generation Z, many new grads also have different attitudes and expectations towards employment.
One Deloitte report assessed the future impact of Generation Z on the workplace and suggested that in order to attract Gen Z talent, employers must be aware of this group’s external environment. This means supporting employee development, providing robust training, and aligning with Gen Z values such as diversity.
Many new graduates seek more personalization in how they move along in their careers, with an emphasis on being global citizens. With this in mind, here are five benefits to consider for hiring new graduates.
1) Student Loan Repayment
One highly sought-after perk among new graduates is student loan repayment assistance. One survey found that 9 out of 10 college students with student loan debt seek an employer with student loan perks.
Student loan assistance is particularly relevant today as student debt reaches new highs. A Forbes article found that 44.7 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, with the average debt amount being $32,731.
If employers want to stand out, offering perks such as an employer repayment program can be especially attractive to new grads. These programs are typically set up so that employers pay a portion of an employee’s student debt every month that they work for the company. Therefore, this arrangement can also incentivize recruitment and long-term retention.
2) Unlimited Paid Time Off
New graduates today are seeking employers that promote their work-life balance, which is why unlimited PTO has become increasingly enticing to this demographic.
Unlimited PTO allows employees to decide when to take time off and how much time to take. This arrangement grants employees greater flexibility, instills more trust between employees and management, and creates a more elevated employee experience.
However, it’s also important to make sure that the vacation policy is actually encouraging employees to take vacation time. Sometimes unlimited PTO policies serve as nothing more than a shiny perk, attractive on the surface-level but unintentionally discouraging vacation time. Finding the right balance is key.
3) Flexible Scheduling
Flexible scheduling can be a major asset to attracting recent graduates. One survey found that 80% of workers would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible scheduling. 53% of those surveyed noted that their being able to choose their job location is more important than company prestige. As a result, in the past 10 years, 83% of companies have introduced or are planning flexible workspace policies.
Benefits of flexible scheduling include improved workplace morale, decreased turnover, and enhanced work-life balance. New grads will feel an increased sense of personal control over their environment while having the time and space to also meet their personal needs outside of work.
With the right tools and supports, recent grads can adjust to working in flexible work environments and have a schedule that works for them.
4) Relaxed Dress Code
While dress codes have long served the role of establishing appropriate workplace attire, their relevancy in the workplace has become a rising topic of discussion. Many companies that don’t require formal business dress are now allowing more flexible dress options.
Among recent grads, relaxed dress codes have become particularly enticing and a fun benefit to look out for since casual attire options can promote a more relaxed and laid-back culture.
5) Professional Development Opportunities
Many recent grads are just launching their careers and seeking opportunities for growth and guidance. Employers that provide training, mentoring, and other professional development opportunities appeal to this demographic who need extra support to get their career started.
Some practices that employers are implementing include internal apprenticeships, certification programs, and leadership development meetings between senior employees and recent grad hires.
Employers that demonstrate a commitment to growth and development are sure to stand out and appeal to recent graduates.