The CEO of Boxed is not kidding around when it comes to job perks for enticing candidates and retaining good employees. Chieh Huang pays for weddings for employees and university tuition for his employee's children. According to CNBC and an astounded Matt Lauer at the Today Show, full-time employees can get up to $20,000 (£11,000) for use towards a wedding. The university tuition amounts weren't disclosed.
When we say that the CEO pays, we're not kidding. That's not just a polite euphemism covering a corporate expense that Huang takes credit for. It works like this: Huang donates part of his salary as CEO and Founder to a nonprofit foundation that then gives the money to the employees.
The idea behind the generous perks came to Huang when he visited employees in the Boxed warehouses. Some were struggling to make ends meets and to provide for their children's future, hence the tuition programme. The wedding idea came from talking to an employee named Marcel who was taking a second job because he was paying for his mother's health care and planning a wedding. The payments are meaningful for both Huang and the employees, as you can see in a video of the moment. When asked by NBC News, Marcel explained how important it is, "You're helping us breathe a little, looking towards the future."
Boxed has always been the sort of company that was looking towards the future. Huang left his full-time job as a lawyer to venture out on his own. He saw a void in the consumer products market and sought to fill it. He wanted to give millennials and urbanites an online experience similar to the big box, warehouse store shopping trips he took when he was a kid. Huang says the company is "great for millennials who don’t always have the time or the means to go to the store," according to the company website.
While the wedding and tuition perks are outstanding, Huang didn't start Boxed as a charity. "When we started this business, I wanted to sell bulk goods to people all around the country," he told CNBC. "Social change through toilet paper was not on the agenda."
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