Want to Win Top Tech Talent? Be Flexible with Your Offering
It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Find Great Candidates
Companies are hiring for tech positions by the thousands, and countless new graduates enter the market every year. However, this influx of potential talent has made finding the right candidates harder than ever. Identifying a person that can fill your key role’s requirements while also matching your organization’s culture is no easy feat, and hiring the wrong candidate can end up costing you almost 15 times their annual salary in lost productivity.
But finding the wrong candidate shouldn’t be your only concern. Not finding a candidate at all can be just as costly to your organization — both now and down the road. Important deliverables like software releases or new feature implementations can get held up. Quality issues can arise. Unfilled leadership roles create a lack of oversight and can lead to project scope creep or team vision misalignment. And the organization as a whole can experience a loss of productivity.
How can you find top tech talent for your open technology positions if it’s a) difficult to even find qualified candidates in the first place and b) your organization is suffering every day that a position goes unfilled? It seems the odds are stacked against hiring managers and HR departments, but all it takes to win top tech talent is a bit of competitiveness and flexibility.
The Talent is Out There — Here’s How to Win It
The reality is that while there is a surplus of talent in the market, the best candidates are going to shop when it comes to their new career. They know what they have to offer and what it’s worth to a company that’s interested in them. And when you factor in the generational preferences of today’s candidates, the need to be flexible increases even more.
But what exactly does flexibility mean? What does it look like? It all starts with your new hire package. This important document outlines the candidate’s compensation details, benefits, work expectations, and more. Often, these details are set and not open to negotiation apart from basic compensation details like salary and bonuses. However, not opening up other aspects of the new hire package to negotiation is not a sustainable hiring strategy.
With the rise of remote work, the desire for certain soft benefits, and a growing savviness in the Millennial generation, top tech talent isn’t going to go for the standard 9–5 with no flexibility or options. It’ll be important to consider what your company has to offer beyond base pay and benefits and identify areas where you can make adjustments based on candidate requests. Let’s take a look at a few examples where your organization might be able to be flexible to win the top tech talent you need to achieve your goals.
We’ll address the easiest one first. Negotiating a salary is one thing, but sometimes, it can be the only thing standing between a signature and a turn-down. Say a candidate applying for a key developer role had a better benefits program with his current employer. He likes your organization, but your medical plan doesn’t quite meet his needs. Your position offers $5,000 more in salary, but when it comes down to it, that isn’t enough for him and his family. To win, consider offering a higher salary to help offset the medical costs. Yes, it’s more money upfront, but the candidate brings strong skills to the table that will help increase revenue in the long run.
If you can’t compete on salary, a bonus structure might be a good solution for winning top tech talent. If the candidate is already making close to what you’re offering, perhaps a sign-on bonus as well as a bonus contingent on satisfactory performance after 90 days might be appropriate. This extra compensation may be all it takes for the candidate to join your organization.
Paid Time Off
Time off matters. People need this time to attend to personal matters, rest, and so on. If a candidate is struggling to accept your offer or is pushing back for more compensation, another solution might be to offer an extra week of PTO above their current complement of time off. This extra time to spend with family and relax is valuable and can even help offset the inability to compete when it comes to compensation.
Depending on your organization’s policies, you may not be able to adjust your current 401(k) match. But, if this is something you can do, providing a greater investment in a candidate’s long-term future can help sweeten the deal when you’re at the negotiating table. Perhaps an additional 1% for every 2% that the employee contributes up to a certain level beyond the standard match is enough to entice them. Conversely but in the same vein, if you don’t offer as strong of a match as the candidate’s current employer, consider countering with a compensation increase — the employee can contribute more supplemented by your match at a higher compensation level to offset the difference.
Get More Strategies for Recruiting Top Tech Talent
At CultureFit, we understand that every organization is different. Your policies and programs may not leave much room for flexible negotiation. However, there is likely a way for you to not only offset benefits that don’t live up to candidates’ expectations but also exceed those expectations, thereby winning the top tech talent that your organization is in need of.
In our latest eBook, we cover several of these as well as provide a number of practical scenarios so that you can see what candidates wanted and how organizations rose to the challenge to win those employees. We also provide a close-to-home example of how CultureFit provides flexible benefits and perks to our employees. You can download the new eBook here.