Consulting firms, law firms, and banks are reconciling their desire to build talent with their need to cut costs by deferring “start dates to new hires, giving them six months or a year to travel or do public service. This approach has been embraced by consulting firms, law firms and banks. Some, like Credit Suisse, offer around six months’ salary to new employees who agree to start a year later,” according to Economist.com.
Over 100 large law firms have delayed start dates for this fall’s new hires, with some firms offering as much as $80,000 to new hires to perform community service or learn a new language and travel rather than come to work for at least another year.
Teach for America provides a good model for us to see the consequences when new college graduates work in communities before going on to other careers. With 14,000 TFA alumni now working in a broad variety of professions, including business, medicine, and law, Teach for America intends for its alumni to become lifelong leaders and advocates because they have been affected – in fact transformed – by their TFA experiences teaching children in underserved communities.
While it is certainly not stress-free, many whose start dates are postponed are excited about the opportunities to participate in community service, learn languages and travel. While they wait for their jobs to begin, many will learn first hand about important community needs through their service experiences, others will develop and grow through new language skills and understand the world better from travel experiences. As they move on in life, many of the “alumni” of this fall’s entering class will integrate these experiences with their business skills to become valuable civic and global leaders. I believe we will see benefits for decades to come.