Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Small business owners are leading the charge when it comes to offering benefits for employees.  According to the latest CNBC and SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, in an effort to stay competitive with large corporations, “10% of small businesses this past quarter have offered — for the first time — to repay a part of student loans, relax drug policies or hire ex-cons.”

This comes as unemployment hits 3.7 percent and over 7 million job openings offer skilled employees the best conditions to gain employment in over a decade.

When looking closely at the growth of small business benefits, Axios reports that “12% of small businesses offered student loan repayment as a new benefit in the last quarter, 14% relaxed their drug policies, and 12% considered candidates with a criminal record for the first time.” Compared to companies overall, small businesses are 3x more likely to offer student loan repayment to potential employees “per the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2018 Employee Benefits Report.”

Small firms will always have to utilize creative and flexible solutions to stay competitive and this is now different.  This is the best of both worlds for employees, large corporations, and small businesses alike as everyone is given a choice that fits their decision best.  Skilled labor is hard to come by in today’s market and these ideas hopefully will help small business owners think outside the box.