So how can the average company compete? When corporate giants (we’re looking at you, Google) offer jumbo salaries, trendy offices, and plenty of name recognition, how can you attract skilled talent to help you manage your ERP and other technology needs?
The first step is to move beyond salary. Make your compensation package as attractive as you can, but recognize that you may never be able to compete with the likes of Facebook (where the average tech salary is well over six figures) based on compensation alone.
You’ll have to look for other ways to persuade talented individuals to join your team.
The good news is that today’s workers want more than a big salary when they choose an employer. Companies of any size can attract, engage and retain the skilled talent they need by creating a desirable work environment that brings out the best in their employees:
- Culture – Cultural elements like good managers and exciting work are more important than compensation both to Millennials and Baby Boomers. In fact, compensation was only the 6th most important factor to Millennials, ranking below opportunities to learn and grow, opportunities for advancement and quality of management.
The takeaway? Employees want to work for good managers who will invest in their success. Increasingly, younger workers want a job that offers a clear career path, an opportunity to use their strengths, and strong values. They also want managers will coach them and recognize their contributions. If you have a culture like that, promote it! If you don’t, it’s time to take another look at your workforce management practices.
- Meaningful Work – In a recent study, Harvard Business Review found that more than 90% of workers would trade a portion of their future earnings for a job that was meaningful, and 80% would rather have a boss who cared about their success than receive a 20% pay increase. Workers who have found meaning in their jobs also have longer average tenure and higher productivity than those who haven’t.
The question is: how do you create meaningful work? You can start by understanding the strengths of each employee and giving them opportunities to use those strengths. Creating a supportive environment among colleagues and managers also creates shared meaning on the job, and connecting inexperienced workers with a mentor helps build shared purpose as your star players talk with new recruits about why work is meaningful for them.
- Flexible Work – The gig economy is another huge factor that influences job expectations for today’s workers. As jobs have become less tethered to a specific location, employees have become more likely to value flexibility and the opportunity to work remotely at least part of the time. Flexibility can also increase the pool of talent available to consider a particular job opportunity. For example, opening the door for remote work can give you access to talent in other locations, and flexible working hours may attract people who are looking for better work-life balance.
- Recognition Programs – Showing appreciation and value for your employees in the form of recognition programs or incentives improves retention, engagement and overall employee performance. Taking small steps, like celebrating individual successes and rewarding behaviors that support your company values can improve your employer brand and help you keep more of your best employees.
- Referrals – Your current employees are among the best sources of new talent available to you. Employee referrals improve the quality of candidates and new hires as well as overall employee engagement because your employees already know exactly what it’s like to work for you. They can also reach people in their network of friends and professional connections that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible to you. Referral incentive programs give your employees a reason to intentionally spread the word by encouraging friendly competition and giving your team members a stake in the success of your recruiting efforts.
Quality talent is the number one key to the success of your company. Hiring the right people will give you a clear advantage over your competitors, especially when you create an environment that draws out their best work - no matter how large or small your company may be.