This article was originally published on centricconsulting.com on October 31, 2013.
Top performers are critical to technology organizations. Unfortunately, finding and retaining the best IT talent can often feel as fruitless as tracking down yeti or maintaining a herd of unicorns.
A common approach is to throw money at the problem – high starting salaries, generous bonuses and lucrative perks. These methods can be successful initially. After all, compensation is very important to employees. Any employee who says it is not is either lying or hiding a winning Powerball ticket under their mattress.
But compensation is only a part of the solution.
According to a recent survey by the Employee Resource Council (ERC), top technology performers value work/life balance and challenging and meaningful work nearly as much as their paycheck. To hijack the ubiquitous (and admittedly overused) 90s catchphrase, top candidates and employees want you to “Show them the money – and much more!”
Employees want flexible work schedules, generous vacation policies and supportive benefits. At Centric, we have found our unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) policy to be particularly enticing to top candidates. In reality, it is more of a philosophy than a policy – Take good care of your clients, take good care of your home life and Centric will take good care of you.
Once you attract a top performer to your organization, you need to keep him/her there. It is easy to keep employees in roles where they have already proven themselves successful. But that is not what our tech talent wants – they want new experiences and new challenges. The risk of letting them try new things is much less than the risk of losing them to another company.
We will be the first ones to admit you cannot always quench your employee’s thirst for opportunity. But sincere effort will lead to improved employee retention [Blatant self-promotion: Did you know Centric’s retention rates well exceed industry norms?]
In summary, you will need to “Show your candidates/employees the money” – but do not forget the intangibles in the process. The value of work/life balance and challenging work is priceless.