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Student Debt Roundtable: How Organizations Need to Adapt

How the student debt crisis is impacting individuals, and what HR needs to do to address...

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
June 19, 2019
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Wall graffiti protesting student debt

This morning we met with David Chang, CEO of Gradifi, Andy Porter, Chief People Officer at Broad Institute, and Jackie Crain, Senior Manager of Total Rewards at Suffolk Construction at the Gradifi offices in Boston to discuss the student debt crisis. As local people operations leaders, they had a lot of interesting things to say about the mounting issue of student debt and the role that people teams and employee rewards programs are playing in this complex issue. Our notes from the conversation, along with the full video, are below.

The Trap of Student Debt

For many students, looming student debt forces them to make different decisions about their career. Whether they have a specific career path in mind or not, many recent grads find themselves giving up an attractive job for one that ensures them financial security. Having this financial burden makes students more likely to avoid risk even if it means turning down a job they want. With millennial and Gen Z employees who are not passionate about their work, many companies are facing high employee turnover for this demographic.

This morning we met with David Chang, CEO of Gradifi, Andy Porter, Chief People Officer at Broad Institute, and Jackie Crain, Senior Manager of Total Rewards at Suffolk Construction at the Gradifi offices in Boston to discuss the student debt crisis. As local people operations leaders, they had a lot of interesting things to say about the mounting issue of student debt and the role that people teams and employee rewards programs are playing in this complex issue. Our notes from the conversation, along with the full video, are below.

The Trap of Student Debt

For many students, looming student debt forces them to make different decisions about their career. Whether they have a specific career path in mind or not, many recent grads find themselves giving up an attractive job for one that ensures them financial security. Having this financial burden makes students more likely to avoid risk even if it means turning down a job they want. With millennial and Gen Z employees who are not passionate about their work, many companies are facing high employee turnover for this demographic.

How is your organization changing due to student debt?

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Phil Strazzulla

Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. He has bought over $1 million worth of HR and Recruiting tools. Additionally, as of 2022, nearly 3 million HR professionals have relied on his advice to determine which business software they should buy.

Phil studied finance at New York University and started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School. His in-depth understanding of the Saas landscape, especially HR Tech, stems from nearly a decade of researching and working with these tools as a computer programmer, user, and entrepreneur.

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