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    Entries in Students (3)


    One type of consumer debt is at a record high, and it could impact your Employee Benefits strategy

    Quick shot for a busy, 'Did I just read the wrong Best Picture winner?' Monday.

    From our pals at Bloomberg, reporting on the recently released Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit out of the Federal Reserve of New York.

    Total U.S. student debt hit a record $1.31 trillion last year, the 18th consecutive year Americans' education debt rose, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Outstanding loans taken out for higher education have doubled since 2009, data show. No other form of household debt has increased by as much since then. In fact, of the six major categories of consumer debt tracked by the New York Fed, only student loans and auto debt have increased since year-end 2008 (total auto loans are up 46 percent). Total household debt has fallen by 1 percent

    There are some more interesting nuggets on what is happening with student debt in the New York Fed report, including the fact that among the five major types of household debt (mortgage, home equity, student, auto, and credit card), student loan debt has the highest percentage (11.2%) classified as 'seriously delinquent', i.e. over 90 days late.

    Finally, this chart from the Bloomberg piece illustrates how much faster student debt has risen compared to the other forms of household debt since 2008:

    Add all of this up and it points to an environment where student loan debt loads are increasing, former students are having a tougher time keeping current on repayments, and many if not most of your newest employees are walking into their brand new jobs in a state of financial difficulty. 

    A number of organizations have responded to these circumstances by offering student loan repayment assistance or contributions as a part of their benefits offerings. According to Time.com, Chegg, Penguin Random House, and Aetna are among the companies that have implemented schemes that contribute to employee's student loan repayments. And a number of technology/services offerings from providers like Gradifi, Student Loan Genius, Tuition.io, and SoFi are marketing these programs and schemes to employers.

    It seems pretty likely that the student loan debt crisis is not going away any time soon, (has any college or university ever cut tuition prices?), and that candidates increasingly burdened by debt will begin to actively seek employment opportunities that both recognize and can offer assistance to them in this area. 

    Sure, offering student loan payment assistance as a new benefit will come off as just a 'cost', at least in the sort term. But looking at it from a wider angle, it could be an important differentiator in candidate attraction and employee retention. 

    And it could be that along with the other early adopter companies mentioned above, you can finally get in front of a trend for once, instead of having to chase it three years from now.

    Happy Monday - have a great week!


    How to Break in to HR

    Tonight at 8PM EST on the HR Happy Hour show we will be talking about 'Breaking in to HR'.

    The show was originally intended to be broadcast live from my HR Technology Class at RIT, but we had some technical issues could not be overcome.

    But the intent and purpose of the show remain the same, to give some of my students, HR students at large, and truly any professionals looking to 'break' in to Human Resources some insights, tips, and recommendations on how they might get their start in HR.

    What organizations, networks, courses of study, certifications and strategies are the most beneficial for someone that aspires to an HR career?

    We will see what advice our guest,  listeners, and supporters, most of which are smart, experienced HR, Recruiting, or Talent pros can share with students, the ones that hopefully represent the future of the HR profession (and will take care of us when we are old and drooling on ourselves).

    Now don't be a wise guy and recommend something like 'choose another field' or 'go learn a real trade like plumbing or pipefitting'.  While that may be sound advice, it will make for a short (and boring) show.

    Joining Shauna and I on the show will be Robin Schooling, Rich DeMatteo, and Jennifer McClure (and hopefully you too).

    Maybe we can kick off some ideas here in the comments - What advice do you have for someone trying to 'Break in to HR'?

    I hope you can join us tonight at 8PM EST - Call in on 646-378-1086.


    HR Technology Presentation - BNHRA, April 25

    This coming Saturday, April 25, 2009 I have the great pleasure of presenting an overview of my HR Technology class to the Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association's (BNHRA)  student chapter.

    This seminar will provide an overview of the fundamental technologies that support essential HR processes, review the increasingly important field of Talent Management technologies, and lastly discuss the emerging impact and influence of 'Web 2.0' technologies and platforms on HR Technology.

    In preparing for the presentation, I decided to give mind-mapping a try to get the rough outline of the presentation organized, and to see how the topics 'flowed'.  I used a site called MindMeister, and below is the MindMap I created for the April 25 session.  In the lower right corner of the image below, there is a small icon that can be clicked to see the full map. Or you can click anywhere inside the image, hold down the mouse button, and drag around on the MindMap to see the details.


    Anyone who takes a look at this, please feel free to let me know what you think about the outline.  Is it too much content? Not enough? Did I leave something out, or does a particular topic call for more emphasis?

    I really look forward to the presentation to the students, and thanks to the BNHRA for inviting me.