Should You Emulate Starbucks’ Hiring Practices

By Adam Robinson,
June 17, 2014

If you missed the buzz on Twitter and Facebook, Starbucks announced plans to implement a program enabling its baristas to earn an online degree through Arizona State University.  According to Inc., the program will be available to “135,000 US employees who work at least 20 hours a week.” Additionally, Starbucks will heavily aid in financing its’ employees education – offering scholarships to freshman and sophomore students and reimbursing all out-of-pocket costs for juniors and seniors. 

Talk about being a great company to work for. Not only has the coffee company topped numerous “best places to work” lists, it was also named to Ethisphere’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list. But for those of us who can’t afford to pay our employees’ tuition, should we even bother trying to follow in the footsteps of this major company?

The short answer is yes – we should be doing everything (within reason) to attract job seekers to our companies. But in reality, people aren’t expecting their employer to pay their tuition, they just want a place to work where they feel challenged, and get to enjoy an occasional incentive. Here are three great alternatives to attract job seekers, without spending all your revenue on incentives:

Accommodate their schedules

Instead of paying for your employees to go to school, why not accommodate their school schedules. Whether your employees are getting their undergrad, post-grad, or have young children in school, allow them to leave early, come in late, or make other schedule changes in order to balance their personal and professional lives. 

Offer unique perks

While fun office perks shouldn’t act as a replacement for a competitive salary, they can be a great way to encourage people to work for your company. For example, Hireology has a ping-pong table. It may not sound like much, but it’s a great way to take a quick break from a project and recharge. Another incentive you may consider offering are paid Fridays off during the summer!

Build and nurture your culture

Intramural sports, happy hours, town hall meetings – there are endless ways to build your company culture, and they don’t have to break your budget. With an engaging, collaborative culture, your employees are likely to be happier and more effective in their roles. 

The better you understand your employees’ work styles and personalities, the more effectively you can help them succeed. Check out our whitepaper on personality assessments to learn how to use them in the onboarding process.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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