6 Ways to Recruit, Hire, and Retain Top Tech Talent in Today’s Hybrid World
Updated: June 28, 2023
It’s been three years since the pandemic changed the way the world works, and it’s clear that hybrid and remote work is here to stay.
For companies looking to employ and retain experienced technology professionals, this changes how we recruit, hire, and retain talent today and in the future.
But it’s more than just how and where work gets done. Companies that continue to use traditional recruitment approaches are likely to struggle. Not only will they lose top talent, but they may also have difficulty attracting new tech talent.
The Benchmark IT – Technology Pro Perspective Survey
To help companies recruit, hire, and retain the skilled tech talent they need to compete, Benchmark IT recently conducted its third “Technology Pro Perspective Survey.” We compared the latest data against previous survey results to understand how the last three years have impacted attitudes about changing jobs and workplace preferences.
The latest survey included many of the same questions as the previous surveys but added several new ones about in-office and hybrid/remote workplaces.
6 Ways to Attract and Keep Top Tech Talent
1: Allow employees and teams to choose their appropriate workplace options.
Most respondents saw significant benefits from working remotely.
- Over 79% of all respondents claim that working remotely has improved their quality of life.
- Over 66% report that working remotely has improved their work productivity. (72% of those with 6-15 years of experience)
Because one size does not fit all regarding employee needs and requirements for teams and roles, organizations should offer flexibility to top tech professionals when possible. Consider allowing employees and teams to work where they feel most productive while contributing to the company culture and bottom line.
Work location affects whether an applicant will even interview for a position. Employers who require employees to work onsite five days a week limit their application pool from the start. Over 58% of respondents said they would not interview for a position that requires working onsite at the company five days a week. Interestingly, over 35% STRONGLY AGREE with that statement.
2: Incentives can help
More and more companies are either planning or have reinstated an RTO policy, and many have created incentives to make it more attractive for their employees to make the shift. A recent resume builder survey noted, “88% of companies are offering incentives to get employees to return, including catered meals, commuter benefits, and higher pay.”
Here’s how the tech pros responded in the latest Benchmark IT Tech Pro Survey:
Across the board, regardless of age and years of experience, a bonus and PTO days for each day in the office are the top incentives for bringing top tech talent back to the office. The next most popular incentives included transportation allowances, lunches, and free refreshments.
While incentives can help retain or attract some of the best talent, organizations should realize that other employees may only be willing to return to the office sometimes, regardless of what is offered. Almost 30% of respondents were adamant that “No incentive will motivate me to commit more days in the office” and did not rank any other incentives offered.
By focusing on a combination of incentives and flexibility, organizations can create a work environment that provides their employees the greatest productivity, collaboration, and quality of life instead of focusing on the traditional in-the-office model.
3: Work location isn’t the only factor to attract top tech talent. Emphasize the fundamentals.
Work location remains a hot button, but fundamentals like salary, team culture, and advancement opportunities still rank higher among those considering a career move.
Across the board, compensation is the number one factor technology professionals when evaluating whether to accept a new job.
When crafting an offer, focus on the team culture, career advancement, and training programs your company offers.
4: Carefully design effective onboarding systems
Onboarding sets the stage for the employee experience. It becomes even more so in a remote or hybrid workplace. Almost half of our survey respondents changed jobs since March 2020, with the majority onboarding remotely.
Percent who changed jobs since March 2020: 48%
Percent who onboarded remotely: 90%
Percent rating process “Great” or “Good”: 68%
Here are some valuable takeaways from those who rated their experience as less than “good” or “great”:
A) Create a culture for employees who’ve onboarded remotely:
B) Make Sure Your HR & Training Materials, Colleagues, and Stakeholders are Readily Accessible Throughout the Process
5. Teach by Osmosis.
Understanding who does what, how things work, and inter-office social norms take time. And for new or junior tech hires starting in a remote or hybrid workplace, it’s particularly challenging. The idea of “learning by osmosis,” or passively absorbing crucial work-related knowledge, has traditionally been done over time and in person.
We asked survey respondents specific questions about how an in-person work environment shaped their careers, and the results posed interesting ramifications. Over 42% of all respondents agree that “an onsite environment was fundamental to their career growth.”
As you might expect, that number dipped among those 23 – 38 years old, with just 35% agreeing with the statement. However, when 23 – 38 year-olds were asked whether “working in an office was essential for those just starting,” over 40% agreed.
And it’s not about being afraid of being passed over for promotions. Across the board, fewer than 25% of all age groups worry that working remotely will limit their career advancement..
These findings point to the elusive yet very real impact that an in-person environment provides to all members of an organization– especially to new and junior hires.
Here are some ways to teach by osmosis in a remote or hybrid environment:
- Include a junior or newer employee in outside meetings, either with customers or suppliers. It can be in-person or virtual, but make sure it’s someone who has the bandwidth and room to grow.
- Encourage functional managers to invite new and junior hires to their regularly scheduled meetings. This can occur on a rotating basis, or for an specific amount of time. The idea is to provide a “seat at the table” for those new to the organization, or in a cross-functional role.
- Established an earned or lottery system to work at another company location for a few days. Create an agenda that allows for work to be done, while learning about other workplaces/departments.
- Announce and celebrate milestones– both personal and professional– birthdays, work anniversaries, marriages, promotions, etc. Give new and existing employees the opportunity to recognize one another’s milestones and accomplishments.
6: Don’t forget to have fun
Meeting and interacting with co-workers virtually, or in back-to-back meetings on designated in-office days, doesn’t encourage team-building or cross-functional rapport.
Humans thrive on fun and social connection.
We asked our survey respondents to rank the top two issues in their current working environment. Not surprisingly, “Social Connection with Co-Workers” ranked as number one. These were followed by other social factors such as interaction with management, cross-functional business units, and collaboration with team members.
Here’s a chance to allow your teams and departments to get creative and determine what’s best for them. At Benchmark IT, we’ve designated every Friday as “Fun Friday.” It may sound hokey, but every Friday, after our (virtual) team meeting, we play a trivia or guessing game that engages our team to reveal facts about themselves, or their knowledge about meaningful or frivolous topics. Try it! It’s fun and easy—contact your Benchmark IT representative for ideas!!
Different personalities, teams and roles have varying needs for social interaction, companies should allow optional opportunities when possible. By proactively looking for ways to improve collaboration, you can help improve workplace relationships and productivity with a single initiative.
Moving Forward with the New Workplace
As your organization moves forward with the new approach to work, you need a trusted partner to help you hire and recruit top tech talent. Whether you have an in-person, remote, or hybrid model, Benchmark IT can help you find, attract, and hire the right technology professionals to contribute to and augment your company’s technical needs and workplace culture.
Contact us today.
* Source: Benchmark IT – Tech Pro Perspective Survey 2022
- 83% are currently employed as technology professionals: 76% full-time, 23% consultants, 1% part-time
- 68% of respondents are from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, CT)
- Among those with 6-15 years of experience, 82% are currently employed: 73% full-time, 24% consultants
- Among those with 16+ years of experience, 87% are currently employed: 77% full-time, 23% consultants
- Among 23-38-year-olds, 84% of are currently employed: 81% full-time, 16% consultants
- Among 39–54-year-olds, 88% are currently employed: 81% full-time, 19% consultants
- Among those 55+, 82% are currently employed: 63% full-time, 36% consultants