Job Search Percolates for Starbucks After Announcing Tuition Assistance Program

Job searches for Starbucks increase after tuition assistance announcement
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How effective are benefits in attracting talent to a company? A recent move by the world’s largest coffee chain sheds some light on this crucial employer branding question.

On June 14th, Starbucks announced the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a collaboration with Arizona State University’s (ASU) online program, which will allow all Starbucks employees to receive some measure of tuition assistance. Employees enrolling with ASU as juniors or seniors will earn full tuition reimbursement, while freshmen and sophomores will be awarded partial tuition and need-based financial aid for up to two years of full-time study.

While the news of Starbucks’ unconventional tuition assistance program certainly garnered attention by the press, we were curious about the announcement’s effect on job seekers.

This decision by the coffee giant appears to have accomplished the goal of making a job with Starbucks more attractive. Two days after the announcement, relative job search volume for “Starbucks” was up nearly 80% from the previous week (see chart above). In addition, the relative search volume for Starbucks positions remained elevated above its historical average throughout the end of June.

The spike in interest for Starbucks jobs demonstrates the role these types of perks can play in attracting job seekers, particularly in the service industries.

The first report from the Indeed Hiring Lab, What Job Seekers Want, provides an in-depth look at 23 occupation categories, where Food Preparation and Serving ranks in the bottom five occupations for satisfaction and desirability. Moreover, job searches within the occupation are far lower than the number of available job postings – highlighting a strong mismatch in job seeker interest and employer demand. As the US economic recovery strengthens and the labor market gradually tightens, companies in all industries may increasingly consider turning to incentives such as this to attract and retain talent.

Download the report to learn about who’s searching for opportunities in your occupation, and what you can do to attract top talent to your jobs.