Employers Supply Incentives for Job Candidates


JBS USA, the country’s largest meat packer, has been offering its 66,000 workers and one child per employee to pay college degrees since March. The move followed an hourly wage increase of more than 30 percent compared to last year, said Chris Gaddis, HR director at JBS USA.

In large beef processing plants, ground workers make $ 21 an hour, with salaries rising to $ 30 an hour for those with more advanced skills. “We’re seeing a lot more innovation in both wages and secondary incentives, but nobody in rural America does what we do,” said Gaddis.

The educational incentives at JBS and Waste Management are intended to both reduce fluctuation and attract new employees. Each company pays the tuition fees in full at a selected group of institutions; The JBS program offers a wider range of majors and certificates. If relatives are insured for schooling, careers can instead span years to decades.

Every time an hourly worker leaves waste management it costs at least $ 12,000 to find and hire a replacement, Mr Fish said. In addition, 50 percent of safety incidents among drivers involve people who have been with the company for three years or less.

“In terms of security, the longer you are here, the better,” said Mr. Fish. And in paying for education, he added, “There’s a real catch.” Waste Management estimates the cost of the employee program in the first year at $ 5 million to $ 10 million.

In the wake of the pandemic, employers are thinking holistically about their employees and their goals, including personal and family life, said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab. The extension of the benefits to spouses and children should take these considerations into account.