If you want to attract and retain millennials, it’s all about the benefits. And no perks are more sought after among this group than student loan benefits. In this post, guest author Alyssa Schaefer, the chief marketing officer of Laurel Road, a national online lender, explains why employers can’t wait to roll out student loan benefits if they’re serious about hiring the best and brightest millennials.
Ten years ago, millennials flocked to employers offering free snacks and ping-pong tables, but as this demographic matures, they seek more meaningful benefits from their company with long-term results. Similarly, growing companies have a hyper-sensitive need to appeal to the millennial group because they will soon make up a clear majority of the workforce.
Focused on their financial futures
As the Chief Marketing Officer of a tech-driven bank, I hear from our millennial staff all the time about their needs. My team also talks to our customers, most of which are millennials, every day about how important their financial future is to them.
What I’ve learned is that most millennials have lofty goals, and if a company can help them achieve those goals by supporting their financial future beyond just an income, they have a strong chance of attracting top-performing talent. Millennials also focus on values, so if a company can demonstrate how they support and reflect their employees’ values – financial and otherwise – that goes a long way.
Student loan debt is considered an epidemic in our country and is a major obstacle to the financial independence and goals that millennials seek. We hear it all the time from customers enrolled in our refinancing product. Those with student loans are constantly looking for ways to contribute savings to their payments – from more practical strategies like refinancing or taking on a “side hustle,” to extremes like selling their eggs or participating in medical trials.
Enlightened companies are beginning to recognize how student loan repayment programs can benefit their employees by enabling financial independence, which naturally creates a more positive outlook on their professional and personal life. According to a recent study we conducted with LendEdu, we found that 58% of millennials would prefer student loan refinancing benefits from employers over additional vacation days – pretty powerful! This shows, plain and simple, how millennials are looking for benefits and employers that support their financial well-being.
In my role, I’m also a partner to corporate clients who are offering their employees student loan repayment benefits, so I hear their wishes too. Offering a student debt repayment benefit reinforces that employers care about the same things their employees do, establishing trust and demonstrating how the company and staff have the same values. It also helps to boost employee morale and satisfaction, and a satisfied workforce is one that’s likely more productive, committed to their team’s success and loyal to their company.
Employers as advocates
On the recruitment side, this benefit allows employers to attract top-performing millennials who seek employers that advocate for their financial health. Companies that are first to introduce this benefit are shaping their brand perception as one that’s invested not only in the financial health of their employees, but in doing good for people facing an extreme burden.
In a time where job switching has become more common – and where 50% of millennials carry student loan debt – student loan refinancing benefits can help encourage employees to stick around for the long-haul. This benefit establishes trust and demonstrates that employers care deeply about the financial future and overall well-being of their staff, which, for millennials, is far more appealing than most “work perks.”
Cite: Alyssa Schaefer is the chief marketing officer of Laurel Road, a national online lender.