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Compensation is #1 Priority for College Grads

Compensation is #1 Priority for College Grads | VertiSource HR

There has been a lot of discussion over the last 12-18 months about the Great Resignation and how it demonstrates new priorities within the modern workforce. Millions of people willing to quit their jobs in search of greener pastures are not necessarily satisfied with maintaining the status quo. But when it comes to college grads looking at that first job, one thing is clear: compensation is still the #1 priority.

More experienced workers still consider compensation extremely important. But as a company specializing in outsourcing HR, employee benefits, payroll, and accounting, we can tell you that employees who have been on the job for a while also care about other things. They care about flexibility, feeling valued by their employers, and that old chestnut: work-life balance.

Inflation May Be Part of It

A recent survey of more than 172,000 college graduates from nine countries reveals that compensation is the most important factor in that first job. But it is not just immediate compensation. College grads are also considering future earning potential. They want jobs that will allow them to maximize their earnings for many years to come.

Survey data seems to suggest that inflation may be part of it. During sustained inflationary periods, everything costs more. Employees pay more for food, fuel, living expenses, etc. Likewise, their employers pay more for everything from equipment and supplies to the benefits packages they offer employees.

We have seen the impact inflation has had on benefits firsthand. The typical employee benefits package costs more with every passing year. And when inflation is high, benefit costs run higher still.

There Is Wiggle Room

We should point out that the survey does not indicate college grads will not settle for anything less than the amount of money they have imagined for themselves. They are willing to trade some compensation for other things. For example, flexible work schedules are also important.

Grads in the engineering field rated flexibility is the fifteenth most important factor in the job search. But across all industries represented in the survey, the number of women who said they wanted flexibility increased by 2.6% while for men, it increased by 1.6%.

The challenge for so many employers is that both higher compensation and flexibility are tough to manage simultaneously. Companies can do one or the other, but both? It is not such an easy sell.

Real-World Choices Change Things

One of the more interesting data points in the survey shows that college grads admit to being willing to give up some of their ideal priorities when faced with real-world challenges. It might be nice to have flexible scheduling, but if the only way to afford living expenses is to take a higher paying job with a rigid schedule, so be it.

The same is true for the coveted work-life balance. A good work-life balance is something most of us want. But real-world choices often defeat our efforts to achieve it. Many of us are facing tough choices thanks to an economy that continues to struggle.

How It Applies to HR Outsourcing

So, how does any of this apply to outsourcing HR functions? First of all, outsourcing HR, payroll, and benefits administration gives your company the opportunity to focus more on employees themselves. A company like VertiSource HR handles the administrative part of it for you.

Second, outsourcing can ultimately save you money that you can put back into competing for those college grads you hope will make up your workforce of the future. Anything you can do to make your company more competitive is worthwhile in the contest for top talent.

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