The Value of Tuition Reimbursement as a Hiring Incentive

Hiring and retaining top talent is as much about the applicant selling you on their abilities as it is about you selling your company to the applicant. While above-market salary is an easy differentiator, it is not always practical and does not guarantee that the applicant will accept your offer.

Today's top talent field multiple job offers, so in order for yours to stand out, it needs to be a total compensation package, not just a good salary. Highly-sought applicants generally have an eye to the future, which means they typically see beyond the dollars and cents of their current salary and consider where they will realistically be in 3-5 years with your company.

Implementing a tuition reimbursement program says to applicants that you are investing in them and in their future with your company.

Of course, this does not guarantee that they will stay with your company for the rest of their career. But when designing your benefit offerings, your philosophy should be that of success, growth, and investment as opposed to only concerning yourself with what could go wrong.


Create an Objective, Fact-Based Differentiator from Other Employers

It is important to make it clear to your applicants that there is a difference between a benefit and a perk. Benefits are tangible, factual, and guaranteed.

Benefit examples include:
  • Medical, Dental, & Vision Insurance
  • 401k or other retirement savings accounts
  • Tuition Reimbursement/Assistance

On the other hand, perks are often only allowed at a manager's discretion, open to interpretation, and can be taken away or modified at any time without notice.

Examples of perks include:
  • Flexible work hours
  • Telecommuting
  • Ability to move up within our company

While the ideal total compensation package will include a competitive salary along with an attractive combination of benefits and perks, many companies are now creating extensive lists of perks as a replacement for true benefits, and hoping that applicants are swayed by these so-called promises.

Benefits are typically more expensive to implement, which is why companies often tout their extensive list of perks to attract new employees. The great thing about tuition reimbursement as a benefit is that it is very inexpensive compared to other benefits.

Approximately 5-15% of your eligible workforce will participate in your tuition reimbursement or assistance program, enrolling in an average of 1.9 classes for an average annual cost of $235.00 per eligible employee. - HostedHR aggregate data