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In a world of continual evolution and strong competition in the work environment, investment in employee education should be viewed as a huge benefit for the organization to stay competitive and be progressive at the same time. To meet this challenge, organizations need to realize the importance of developing its’ current employees’ while allocating funds along with time for this development. An employer may believe that it has a human resources department in place to hire the appropriate person to fill a position; however, just as cars lose their value over time and computer equipment becomes obsolete, an employee’s education and skills can also become obsolete. Providing tuition reimbursement and making time allowances for continued education keeps an organization progressive. The corporation can develop its internal value by using these as recruiting tools but mostly by developing its most precious asset – its’ current employees.
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While recruiting is a normal part of operating, the corporation must be aware of the true cost of recruiting because this is not an easy task. Locating an individual with the right mind-set and skills for a position within an organization has many costs. In order to get a true cost for recruiting, an organization must consider; direct costs which are tangible and readily quantified. Elements of direct costs include the cost of the internal recruiting staff, contract recruiters and any outside assistance from other recruiting providers, employee referral bonuses, networking events, job fairs and advertising costs, background checks, drug screens, relocation. Indirect costs that are not readily quantifiable include hiring managers who spend too much time reviewing resumes instead of performing their managing job, document management costs and communications costs – both of these can become very big with the amount of resumes and phone calls that are part of recruiting and screening process. Once all costs of recruiting have been summed, the true costs associated with recruiting can reach into the thousands to tens-of-thousands depending on the position being filled. Because of these recruiting costs corporations should consider recruiting from within the organization.
If the company is provided tuition reimbursement to its employees, it would not automatically have to turn outside to hire, but it could develop its new managers and even executives from within. This would provide loyal employees who are aware of the operations of the organization and have the right mind-set, because of the knowledge and experience they already have. Development of a current employee becomes a sound investment because the organization understands the knowledge and experience this current employee has compared to an un-proven candidate, this is a “reason” tuition reimbursement should not only be viewed as a recruiting tool, but should be viewed as an important tool for the development of an employee within the corporation.
Some employers believe that a beneficiary of this tuition assistance may want to get a degree, then move on to another employer once they have received an education. What an employers’ view should be is this; developing an employee builds loyalty and dedication and that the newly educated will be a major reason in helping the organization stay progressive. Careful attention to the structure of tuition program will eliminate the fear of losing an employee by including a list of approved courses or degrees, and even possibly requiring an employee to submit an educational plan describing how they would be adding value to the organization by the continuing education they are choosing. By having placed careful attention to an employee and the field of study selected, an employer can plan for the next steps of this employees’ growth in the organization. If attention is not given in this area, the organization risks facing a retention problem because an employee is ultimately looking to increase his or her salary and find growth within the organization to keep from doing the same job.
Employers may feel a sense of entitlement of services by an employee who receives tuition reimbursement, however; an employer should take note that this employee will pay an equal or significantly higher cost for this education in the valuable time spent attending classes, completing homework assignments and studying. Time spent for education usually means missed family time, missed family dinners, missed children’s plays or missed golf games. Sacrifice is what an employee goes through to obtain a higher education, which is why an employee who decides to return to class should be applauded for the ambition and determination displayed for desiring a higher education. The employer should then capitalize on the knowledge, experience and maturity an employee gains through education by working with the employee to gain a new position or additional responsibilities within the organization. It would be short-sightedness in the part of the organization to overlook the hard work and dedication an employee goes through in trying to better his or herself.
Who would an organization rather keep on the payroll? The employee who demonstrates the ambition and determination to do more for their own company and seeks tuition reimbursement or for the employee who shows no inclination or desire to increase their knowledge and stays stagnant doing the same job?
The work environment is evolving in this 21st century; this is why it should move organizations to offer tuition reimbursement and make time allowances for education. Using this as a tool to develop its’ value by using this not only as a recruiting tool but as a tool for employees to partake in. By offering this service, it not only helps an employee with his or her own personal growth, but helps the growth of his or her working skills and knowledge which transfers to the growth and progressiveness of the organization. It will help in the acquisition of new talent, retention of employees and builds loyalty for the organization.
Toossi, M. (2007). Labor force projections to 2016: more workers in their golden years. Monthly Labor Review (33). Retrieved January12, 2008, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/11/art3full.pdf