Wooing Job Candidates With Perks, Not Money

By Shravan Goli

In today’s market, companies are desperate to get their hands on qualified tech candidates, oftentimes leading to an all-out bidding war. With demand high and many companies willing to pull out all stops, the question becomes: How can companies with fewer resources— or with locations outside the major tech hubs—compete for top talent?

The answer is two-fold: Companies first need to think of outside-the-box perks to entice potential candidates. Then they need to develop effective communications strategies to gain name recognition in their communities. Here are guidelines that can help achieve those goals.

Be unique and consider the candidates’ needs.

Most of the perks that were once considered unique, such as flexible work hours or lengthy vacation packages, are now becoming standard. Also, tech professionals are becoming less inclined to relocate for a job.

So you need to think inventively and consider what candidates are really looking for when it comes to perks. Unique incentives that have popped up in the market recently include onsite services, including massages, meals, dry cleaning, haircuts, etc.

While you might not be able to offer a paid vacation or a car lease, you can offer job candidates other benefits they might appreciate even more, such as professional development opportunities or more work-from-home hours. For candidates who are looking to build their careers or who want to spend more time with their children, these types of incentives are attractive and are among the reasons why candidates choose to join a company.

As an example, a recent Dice survey found that nearly one-third of tech professionals said they would be willing to cut their salary by up to 10 percent in exchange for working from home.

Emphasize the company’s culture and vision.

In addition to compensation and attractive perks, what attracts candidates to work for a company is its tech culture and vision. When pitching your company to a potential candidate, focus on what the day-to-day is like in the office, how the candidate will contribute to the company’s overall vision, and what potential growth opportunities are available to them.

Compensation and perks obviously weigh heavily into the final decision. However, so does the corporate environment—and whether the candidate feels he or she can grow and be successful at your company.

Don’t just hunt. Farm!

With the tight job market that exists today, it’s essential for companies to do more than just hunt for top talent. They also must grow potential talent.

Turning to local schools is an excellent way for companies to “farm” for new talent and encourage young people to get involved with technology. While this might not have a short-term impact on your hiring needs, it will help in the long term by forging relationships and building your brand name in the community. Other great opportunities to nurture talent and develop community relations include setting up a coding camp or organizing a hackathon.

In this competitive market, if you don’t find some way to stand out from the rest of the pack, you won’t make the cut. So, think creatively and emphasize to candidates why your company is right for them.  

Shravan Goli is the president of Dice, a respected career site that brings together in-demand technology professionals and tech-powered companies. An Internet and media veteran, Goli is responsible for executing the growth strategy for Dice.com, ClearanceJobs and the Slashdot Media brands. Before joining Dice, he served as CEO of Dictionary.com, general manager of Yahoo! Video and head of products for Yahoo! Finance.