The shortage of talent in the tech industry is the topic of many articles and debates. According to Laurianne McLaughlin in her article titled “The IT Talent Shortage Debate,” a survey by InformationWeek showed that 73 percent of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees and 88 percent of organizations with more than 1,000 employees agreed there’s a talent crunch.
That’s why in recent years, governments around the globe have started investing more in stimuli for STEM education. But even with more graduates set to enter the tech industry, employers are still in fierce competition for the best candidates.
What High Tech Talent Wants
The Kelly Services report “What Talent Wants – High Tech” provides some important insights into worker preferences in the high tech field. Here are some key findings:
- Tech talents want clear career paths with their employers. By clarifying up front what tools and opportunities the company provides to support career advancement, an employer can make a position more attractive from the first moment of engagement with the candidate.
- Professional development is important. Tech talent value training so much that many pay for it out of pocket. However, those who have the opportunity to discuss career development with their employers and make use of available resources—including, as John Hagel writing for Deloitte University Press points out, training opportunities and stretch assignments—are more satisfied than workers in other industries. Clearly, offering career development opportunities contributes significantly to attracting talent.
- Tech talent values a cutting-edge work environment. Not surprisingly, tech talents want exposure to the latest and most revolutionary technology in the workplace. Employers who can offer this are in high demand.
- A flexible and collaborative work environment is preferable. More than half of all tech talent value flexible work arrangements with opportunities for flex work and telecommuting. In addition, 62 percent want a highly collaborative workplace in which they have the opportunity to work with knowledgeable colleagues.
- Tech talent wants competitive compensation. Salary, benefits and other remuneration are of the utmost importance to 86 percent of tech workers. Though the tech industry typically provides relatively high salaries, some companies are offering extremely high compensation in an attempt to retain top talent for longer. Daniel Terdiman describes in his CNET article “Silicon Valley talent wars: Engineers, come get your $250K salary” how Weeby.co decided to offer unusually high salaries and equity to top talent to prevent them from leaving for larger, more established competitors. And as a part of compensation, employers are advised to consider competitive and comprehensive relocation assistance that supports top tech talent when they need to move for their jobs. This shows talent that they’re valued and as a result promotes engagement and retention… plus, a successful move can greatly enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.
In addition to these points, tech talents expect perks. As Laura Lorek points out in her SiliconHills article “Perks Help to Attract and Retain High Tech Talent,” whether it’s catered lunches, a relaxation room, extensive benefits packages, gym memberships or pet-friendly workplaces, tech talent are attracted to employers that offer more than a conventional workplace.
The tech industry will be competing for top talent for the foreseeable future. But with recruitment and retention strategies that are geared to what tech talent wants, employers can greatly enhance their chances of attracting and retaining high quality tech workers.