Employers Are Offering Time as a Benefit

One company lets its new hires take two weeks paid time off before they start their jobs.

March 07, 2022

An Employee on a Relaxing Vacation

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, which was higher than economists anticipated, but the fight for labor isn’t over yet, and some companies are focusing on much of the workforce wants most: time.

Tech hospitality company SevenRooms offers a “Fresh Start” policy, reports CNBC, which allows its new hires to take two weeks of paid time off plus health care coverage before they start their job at the company. The company’s HR executive said that the plan was born out of hearing about many employees being burned out soon after hiring. Not everyone can take time off without getting paid, so making sure people can take time for themselves, and not go into financial strain to do so, is something employers can help with.

Giving new hires two weeks of paid time before their first day “shows people we’re committed to choice, and that time is the most valuable thing to all of us,” Paul McCarthy, SevenRooms’ chief people officer, told CNBC.

SevenRooms also updated its time-off policy to require employees to take time off each year under its unlimited vacation policy. Employees who’ve been with the company up to five years are required to take five consecutive days off twice a year, once between January and June, and once again between July and December. Employees with more than five years at SevenRooms are required to take 10 consecutive days off in the first half of the year, and another 10 days off in the second.

More companies are encouraging employees to take extended breaks. In spring 2021, PwC made headlines for offering a $250 vacation bonus to employees who take 40 consecutive hours of vacation at a time, up to once per quarter, for a total $1,000 yearly incentive.

In an effort to attract and retain more employees, PepsiCo announced the launch of myeducation, its new debt-free education offering available to its more than 100,000 frontline and professional U.S.-based associates. Through myeducation, associates can access over 100 education and upskilling programs, and PepsiCo will cover 100% of tuition costs, books and fees for education programs within the debt-free catalog, in addition to its tuition reimbursement program.

“As the workforce changes, PepsiCo is committed to making sure our associates grow with it, not just for the benefit of our organization, but also to build and support the communities in which we operate,” said Ronald Schellekens, chief human resources officer at PepsiCo. “By investing in targeted upskilling programs for in-demand roles and providing access to opportunities for higher learning, we can help ensure a future ready workforce.”

However, according to a new survey, recruiting the future workforce may become increasingly difficult. The survey found that 60% of teenagers are more interested in starting their own business instead of working a traditional job. Close to two in five teens surveyed said their inspiration for entrepreneurship mostly comes from social media influencers and celebrities.

The survey also found that 45% of teens want to learn the ropes from current business owners and 37% would be interested in programs at or after school teaching entrepreneurship.

Are you looking to hire? NACS has conducted extensive research on what people want in jobs to help retailers communicate the context of jobs by showcasing how they tie into what applicants care about most and what they treasure from previous jobs. Additionally, NACS Magazine dived into how to hire the Gen Z workforce—by understanding what this generation wants from an employer.

The pandemic has increased anxiety and tension for everyone, especially those on the frontlines. NACS Magazine discusses this serious topic in “Mental Health in the Workplace” in the September 2021 issue.