Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Need to Hire Tech Talent? Better Up the Ante

Recruiting tech talent continues to remain a challenge in 2019, as many workers are holding out for bigger salaries and better job offers. “If employers are having trouble bringing on technology talent, they may need to take a second look at their salary offers,” suggests staffing firm, Robert Half Technology.  


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Robert Half Technology recently surveyed IT decision makers about the issues hindering their hiring efforts, and the leading response was an inability to present competitive compensation packages to candidates (24%). Other common barriers included speed to hire (22%) and brand awareness (15%).
Tech leaders were asked to name the biggest barriers to bringing tech talent into their organization. The top responses included*:

  1. Compensation (24%): We don’t pay nearly as much as our competitors.
  2. Speed to hire (22%): Our hiring process is extremely slow, and we lose good candidates while deciding.
  3. Awareness (15%): We don’t do enough to promote our organization as a great place to work.
  4. Competition (12%): Other large, desirable companies in the area tend to recruit all the good candidates.
  5. Perks and benefits (11%): We don’t offer as many unique perks or benefits as other local employers.

*Rankings are based on the percentage of tech leaders who named the response as first of their three most important factors for IT professionals.
“Compensation is often the first factor technology candidates consider when deciding whether to join an organization,” says Ryan Sutton, district president, Robert Half Technology—in a press release. “If companies are not offering salaries at or above local market rates, recruiting can be an uphill battle. In these instances, especially, showcasing a strong workplace culture and unique perks and benefits is essential for attracting talent.”
Sutton adds, “But, a robust compensation package shouldn’t be a hiring manager’s only concern. IT job seekers have many options in today’s market. Employers must promote their company as a desirable place to work and speed up their hiring process to attract and keep the attention of top candidates.”

Competition Concerns by Market

Twelve percent of IT hiring managers overall said competition with other large, desirable companies in their city is their leading barrier to recruiting technology talent. The figure was considerably higher in some of the 28 U.S. markets included in the survey:

  • Detroit, MI (23%)
  • Cincinnati, OH (20%)
  • Philadelphia, PA (19%)
  • Dallas, TX (18%)
  • Minneapolis, MN (18%)
  • Raleigh, NC (18%)
  • Washington, DC (18%)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (17%)
  • Chicago, IL (15%)
  • Seattle, WA (15%)
  • San Diego, CA (14%)
  • San Francisco, CA (14%)
  • Louis, MO (14%)
  • Atlanta, GA (13%)
  • Cleveland, OH (13%)
  • Denver, CO (13%)
  • Houston, TX (13%)
  • Phoenix, AZ (13%)
  • Nashville, TN (12%)
  • Austin, TX (11%)
  • Boston, MA (10%)
  • Charlotte, NC (10%)
  • Indianapolis, IN (10%)
  • Miami, FL (10%)
  • Des Moines, IA (9%)
  • Los Angeles, CA (8%)
  • New York, NY (8%)
  • Salt Lake City, UT (8%)

4 Tips for Recruiting Tech Workers

If you’re company is struggling to recruit tech talent, we’ve previously reported on four ways you can get this talent in the door. Here is the abridged version:

  1. Work with a specialized recruiter. Robert Half Technology says that specialized recruiters have access to an untapped candidate pool and can help streamline the hiring process. Look for a recruiter who knows your local employment market well and can identify your hiring needs.
  2. Be more flexible on skills requirements and provide training to new hires. It’s important to be more flexible on the specific skills you’re looking for and if you can’t find these skilled workers, you should train new hires on these skills. Robert Half Technology says a lack of flexibility on candidate skills and experience, especially in a talent-short market, could be detrimental to hiring efforts. Look for someone who meets 75% of the role’s requirements and is highly motivated to learn and grow.
  3. Divide responsibilities among existing team. If you can’t find talent outside the company, try looking within. Robert Half Technology says that asking staff to temporarily take on additional work allows them to stretch their skills. However, make sure the extra work doesn’t overburden—and then burn out—your team.
  4. Increase the salary/compensation package. Increasing your salary or compensation packages is a great recruiting strategy, especially for candidates who are looking to leave their current employers for a better paying position. Robert Half Technology says to offer compensation that matches or exceeds local market rates to attract top tech talent. Using resources, such as salary guides, can help you set competitive salaries.