New look. same genius. We have some big, exciting news to share, and you may have already noticed that something is different.

Student Loan Genius has changed its name to Vault. This isn’t a decision we made lightly or quickly; rather, this is the outcome of a six-month-long journey of in-depth research, strategy and planning, to land on a new identity that best fits who we are as a company.

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt.

Debt is crushing today’s workforce. More than 44 million Americans collectively carry $1.5 trillion in student debt as of the first quarter of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. By 2027, 75 million Americans will have $3 trillion in student loan debt.

At the same time, employers are struggling to hire and retain the best talent in an increasingly competitive job market. They can offer health insurance, a retirement plan, and office perks, but what if there’s an opportunity to offer a stand out benefit that can make a real impact in solving one of the biggest financial challenges of our generation?

Enter Vault. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

Today, major companies like New York Life, Ralph Lauren and Mastercard offer Vault to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace and offer an attractive employee benefit that improves hiring and retention. We also recently welcomed American Family Insurance into the fold as a new customer.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Our rebrand also comes on the heels of other exciting news for our company, including the launch of Vault Match, a new 401(k) product that can help employers allocate unused 401(k) dollars to student loan benefits. We also closed a $3.5 million Seed Series Prime financing round in May 2018 with Vestigo Ventures, and brought in Romy F. Parzick as our new Chief Operating Officer. It’s an exciting time to be at Vault!

Remember, the new name does not mean new priorities. Vault’s primary focus remains on helping organizations attract and retain top talent by providing their employees with essential benefits to ensure progress, security and financial freedom.

For more information, visit our FAQ page.

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Vault – frequently asked questions

Student Loan Genius to Vault – a few frequently asked questions.

Employees

Where do I go to log in to my account?

You’ll log in to your account at app.vault.co as usual with your existing login credentials.

Do I need to recreate my account?

No, your existing account will work. You’ll log in with your existing login credentials at app.vault.co.

Do I need to re-enter my student loan information?

No, all of your previously imported student loan information will remain on file.

Will this affect contributions from my company?

If you have access to Vault Pay and you have already added your student loan contribution information, your contributions will continue to be sent out.

Do I need to log in to my portal and update anything?

No, your account will not be changed. You’ll log in with your existing login credentials at app.vault.co.

What is the new customer service contact information?

You can now contact genius@vault.co if you need any support or help with your account.

What if I try to access the Student Loan Genius benefit?

The Student Loan Genius benefit URL (app.studentloangenius.com) will automatically redirect to Vault’s benefit URL (app.vault.co).

Have a question that isn’t answered here?

Please contact genius@vault.co

Why the name change?

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Employers

Has Vault been purchased or taken over by a new company?

Vault has not been purchased or taken over by a new company. We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever.

Do I need to make any changes on behalf of my employees using the benefit?

Vault will be providing your HR team with the new login link for your employees to access Vault’s products. The new benefit URL will be app.vault.co. If they attempt to access our platform with any prior link provided, they will be redirected to the new site.

How do my employees connect with your support team?

Employees can connect with our support team by emailing genius@vault.co

What if my employees email the old support address of genius@studentloangenius.com?

The email will be routed to our new support address of genius@vault.co

Have my company’s employees been notified?

Yes, all employees who have received invitations to or accessed the benefit before will receive an email and an in-product notification about the rebrand to Vault.

What happens if my employees try to access the Student Loan Genius benefit?

The Student Loan Genius benefit URL (app.studentloangenius.com) will automatically redirect to Vault’s benefit URL (app.vault.co).

Why the name change?

Vault was born out of the desire to solve a very real and increasingly suffocating financial problem affecting an overwhelming majority of employees: student loan debt. We’re committed to helping employers work with their employees to tackle student loans through contribution programs, education and expert consulting. Our insights, technology and ambition combine to help employees get a jump start on their tomorrow, turning HR into debt-busting heroes whose work in rebalancing debt helps to gain and retain the best employees.

We may have applied a fresh coat of paint, but you can be reassured that our foundation is as rock solid as ever. We get down into the trenches to ensure results that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. This attitude and drive is at the center of everything Vault does.

Where can I find Vault collateral?

All clients and customers will receive new Vault collateral via email from our support team.

Is this a branding change or an official legal name change?

Our legal name remains Student Loan Benefits, Inc. We are now doing business as Vault.

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So you have to hire your first employee that’s not a friend or co-founder and you don’t have an HR department to vet resumes for you. What do you do?

If you’re like most companies (including large ones), first you’ll create an exhaustive list of all the skills and experiences that might be moderately useful in the position you’re trying to fill. Then you’ll vet hundreds of resumes against that list and invite the candidates with as many matches as possible in for an interview. During the interviews you and a panel of your colleagues will interrogate each candidate about their work experience, looking for subtle reactions from the candidates to divine the true nature of not only their abilities but also their moral fiber. After each interview, you and your colleagues will discuss your impressions and make a hire/no hire decision in the room.

We’ve all experienced a hiring process like this from one side of the interview table or the other. As interviewees, more often than not, we probably leave the room feeling exhausted and misunderstood. But as interviewers, we’re pretty confident that we can pick a strong candidate with such a rigorous trial.

But it doesn’t work, as Google discovered when they evaluated their own hiring practices. After looking at “tens of thousands of interviews” Google found “zero relationship” between the interviewer’s rating of a candidate and that candidate’s ultimate performance at Google. In other words, hiring with a process like this isn’t any better than random chance. You might as well shuffle resumes and pick the one on top.

So is there a better way to hire? Yes. The system above doesn’t work because it relies heavily on our intuitions and thus heuristics and biases. But we can get around these heuristics and biases by creating an algorithmic hiring process, as detailed by Daniel Kahneman in his famous book, Thinking Fast and Slow.

As Kahneman describes, at the age of 21, he was tasked with finding a way to evaluate candidates for combat duty in the Israeli military.

Before Kahneman, the military evaluated candidates based on an interviewer’s holistic impression after a 20-minute interview. And just like the hiring process described above, these holistic impressions had no correlation with a candidate’s eventual success in combat.

Kahneman, based on Paul E. Meehl’s book Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction, believed he could more effectively predict candidates’ success by scoring them on independent, specific, objective tests. To do so he created a simple set of questions to objectively evaluate traits relevant to combat duty like responsibility, sociability, and masculine pride. The interviewers only had to mechanically score the answers to these questions during the interviews. Kahneman then created an algorithm to weight these trait-scores to determine the final overall score for each candidate. As you might have guessed, Kahneman’s algorithmic evaluation of the candidates was more correlated with success in combat than the holistic impressions.

How can you apply this to your hiring plan? Obviously, you aren’t vetting candidates for combat duty, so you won’t care about “masculine pride”. But you should still limit yourself to the five or six most important skills you need and try to find reasonably objective ways to measure them (when I used this technique for hiring Python developers, I counted the number of projects on their resume where they used Python).

After vetting resumes with your important skills measurements, you should replace the traditional interview with behavioral questions for softer skills (like leadership and teamwork) and an actual test of the candidate’s hard skills (like coding or sales). For a coder, instead of asking the candidate to describe heap sort, you might give them an hour to actually code a simple application. For a salesperson, ask might them to do a connect call with you. You and your colleagues should rate the results of the behavioral questions and tests on object scales, like 1-5.

Finally, to evaluate the candidates, simply select the candidate with the highest score. You should only use the objective scores from the resumes and interviews, making sure to weight the resume scores hirer than the interview scores. Do NOT rely on your impressions of the candidate. That will tempt you into hiring the most confident or likable person, instead of the most qualified candidate.

There are many advantages to an algorithmic hiring process. It makes evaluating resumes fast and consistent. It makes sure we consider a candidate’s previous resume and not just their interviewing skills when making our hiring decisions. Finally, it makes it easier to remove stereotypes from our hiring process.

However, if you implement an algorithmic hiring process, you are likely to receive a lot of resistance. Our innate cognitive biases lead us to believe that we are good at looking into a candidate’s eyes and reading their soul. Science clearly tells us we are not. Therefore, it’s critical to structure every step of the hiring process to combat these biases. As Kahneman says, implementing his hiring strategy “requires relatively little effort but substantial discipline”.

But hiring and keeping the best people is probably the single most important long-term decision we make for our companies. It’s worth taking the time to resist our intuitions and think carefully about how to make that decision.

If you need more help recruiting, contact us to design a student loan benefit to meet your recruiting and retention needs.

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COMPANY MAKES PROGRAM AVAILABLE ON DAY ONE OF EMPLOYMENT FOR ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

NEW YORK, October 3, 2017 – Recognizing the stress and financial burden that student debt can create, New York Life has launched a student loan repayment program offering up to $10,200 over five years for eligible employees*, as well as student loan advice and online planning tools

Through the new benefit, employees who have taken out student loans for themselves will receive assistance to accelerate their student loan repayment plans. If they have taken a loan out for their child, they will receive counseling and advice to help guide them through the repayment process.

New York Life is making these benefits available to eligible employees on day one of their employment, with no waiting period. This new offering builds on New York Life’s existing assistance programs, including a tuition reimbursement program that has enabled hundreds of employees to enroll in undergraduate, graduate, or independent study courses, and a New York Life Family Scholars Program that assists the children of employees and agents who plan to attend college or vocational/technical school programs.

Katherine O’Brien, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, New York Life, said, “Part of our commitment to the wellbeing of employees means offering benefits that address the real challenges they face. Student loan debt can create significant obstacles when it comes to achieving other life milestones, such as buying a home or starting a family. We are delighted to offer this new benefit to help ease the financial burden of student loans and make life better for our employees.”

New York Life has partnered with Student Loan Genius, America’s first student loan benefits provider, to offer its counseling and contribution services to employees. Through Student Loan Genius, employees will be receiving help via online tools, email, and phone where live counselors offer personalized student loan guidance in real time.

“Student Loan Genius is excited to partner with major insurance and financial forces like New York Life. These companies aren’t just offering a benefit, they’re making a statement about how American companies can’t continue to avoid problems like student loans payments that face employees,” said Matt Beecher, CEO of Student Loan Genius. “New York Life has a long history and reputation of helping Americans pursue long-term financial wellness and stability. We’re excited to help and even more excited that they’re leading one of the most influential industries in tackling student loans.”

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