Benefits 101: Simple ways to offer education assistance

July 30, 2014 | by Jason Hamilton

When Starbucks announced they would be paying for their employers to pursue their college degrees online, the hourly industry sat up and took notice. Most employers offer a variety of benefits for their staff, but few can afford to go as far as funding educations.

In a poll hosted on, job seekers were asked, “Would you be more interested in working for an employer who offers education assistance?” An overwhelming 80 percent responded ‘yes.’ About a quarter of survey participants were between the ages of 18 and 24, the usual age range of those thinking about college for the first time.

When asked, “What other benefits would make you interested in working for an employer,” the only benefit job seekers wanted more than education assistance was flexible scheduling. Other benefits included increased holiday pay (43 percent), awards and recognition (32 percent) and child care assistance (18 percent). Job seekers had the option of choosing multiple benefits.

Unfortunately, not everyone can offer to cover tuition, but there are other ways to recruit and retain job seekers who are interested in furthering their education.

For some employees, their next educational step could be receiving their high school degree, a GED certificate or studying for their SATs to get ready for college. Show support by looking into community programs that will help them prepare for their classes and tests and offer a reimbursement of sorts. A little help goes a long way.

Classes, exams, study groups -- these all require a dedication of time and energy. But working with an employee to figure out a way to balance these commitments with their job can make things a little easier for all parties involved. Sit down with employees taking classes and explore flexible scheduling options.

As employees work towards their degrees, they gain new skills and experiences that can play a key role in their career growth. Consider how these strengths can prepare employees for leadership roles with your business. Prepare for the possibility of promotions and explore how their education can help bring success to the workplace.

When someone makes the decision to further their education, any and all support is welcomed. Even if you can’t show support to studious employees financially, showing you’re invested in their future with patience and understanding is something they’re sure to remember as they cross that finish line.

Topics: Operations Management, Staffing & Training

Companies: Snagajob

Jason Hamilton
Jason Hamilton serves as Snagajob’s vice president of product and marketing. In this role, he is responsible for creating products that instantly connect workers and employers. He also leads Snagajob's marketing strategies – from customer acquisition and retention to marketplace development and growth. Oh, and he had a cameo in a Bollywood film. www

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