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Top Benefits for Tech Talent that Move the Needle

The Betts Team
April 27, 2023

How do you win and retain top tech talent? We have some ideas…

It’s no surprise that recruiting and retaining talent is critical to an organization’s success—after all, a company is only as strong as its collective talent pool. But even as tech hiring has cooled in some select big tech sectors, the market for top talent has not, creating some interesting circumstances for those hiring. However, markets across the country picked up the pace in March, adding 316,000 jobs, according to the most recent CompTIA report, which showed a robust month-over-month increase. With the tech unemployment rate holding steady at 2.2%, attracting and retaining talent is as essential as ever.

The pandemic changed what people are fundamentally looking for in a job—to attract and retain talent successfully, you must consider the realities of the last three years. Organizations need to think differently about how they are recruiting and what they are offering potential employees. The benefits top tech employees are looking for no longer fit the traditional model.

When listing a new opportunity, it’s critical to highlight more than just the job itself. While money and overall compensation are motivating factors, overwhelmingly, today’s candidates are also increasingly prioritizing cultural fit, work/life balance, short and long-term opportunities, and the ability to work from home—benefits that go beyond more quotidian benefits like health insurance, transit benefits, FSA and HSA, 401K. According to recent research, approximately 80% of workers share that a flexible schedule is critical when considering a new job. Other leading benefit priorities included mental health coverage, health and wellness stipends, and retirement contributions.

And it turns out the most common reason people join a new company is the same as why they leave it: career development—or lack thereof. According to data aggregated by LinkedIn, 59% of employees join new companies for more opportunities and better career growth. In comparison, 45% of employees who leave companies cite concerns over a lack of advancement opportunities. With this in mind, an essential part of crafting a successful talent acquisition plan in today’s market hinges on providing real learning opportunities that facilitate career growth.

How can tech companies compete and retain top talent? By offering competitive comp and benefits that matter. Here are the top comp and benefits trends to be aware of in 2023.

1. Salary is King, Queen, and Squire.

According to research from Indeed, pay is the number one reason workers look for a new job. Inflation has taken a bite of tech workers’ salaries, and they want to get a leg up. As well, widespread wage gains over the last year have influenced candidates’ expectations for higher comp. And with more states and cities (here’s looking at you, NYC) enacting pay transparency laws, tech workers increasingly expect that companies will post salary bands for roles. Learn more about where you need to be with salary from our 2023 Compensation Guide.

2.   Professional career development opportunities in tech are key.

One of the top three reasons workers leave their jobs?—because they feel stuck in a big rut, something especially true of Millennials and Gen Z, many of whom will only stay with a company if they are continually acquiring new skills. With 59% of employees seeking new opportunities for more opportunity and career growth and 45% leaving companies that do not offer advancement opportunities, make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

By creating opportunities for tech workers to grow and develop, you can ensure that your company will continue to attract and retain top talent. Here are some innovative ways to do that:

  • Provide a stipend for professional development courses focusing on technical training, leadership, and other skills.
  • Tuition reimbursement. Walmart pays 100% of employee tuition for in-demand degrees like computer science, data analytics, and software development.
  • Offer coaching sessions in lieu of annual reviews. Coaching sessions are in; typical annual reviews are out. Employees want to know how to improve, not just be told they should.

3.   Flexible and remote work arrangements.

With 80% of workers stating that a flexible schedule is critical when considering a new job—heed the writing on the wall. 30% of full-time workers are hybrid now, and 58% want three or more remote days going forward. Employees with the flexibility to work remotely are happier—citing the benefits of no commute, living and working from wherever, and reporting improved work/life balance and excitement about their jobs, according to WFH Research.

And the benefits of WFH and hybrid models don’t stop there. Workers can save up to $3,000 per year and gain back the time equivalent of 14 days, according to Global Workplace Analytics, which is the time they would otherwise have spent commuting. The benefits extend to employers, too—companies can save more than $11,000 per remote worker due to increased productivity, reduced operational overhead, absenteeism—and (most importantly)—turnover. It costs a lot of money to hire the right talent, if turnover is high at your organization, you are hemorrhaging revenue—far better to keep employers happy than to replace them. If you want to learn more about how to optimize your cost-per-hire, check out our deep dive on this critical topic.

4.   Upskilling and reskilling increase talent attraction and retention.

66% of all Americans will need re- and upskilling over the next decade to stay relevant and thrive in our ever-changing economy, particularly true in tech. Company investments in re- and upskilling help ensure upward trending career growth, a must for attracting and retaining tech talent.

5.   Mental healthcare is a must-have—not a nice-to-have—benefit.

Strategic employers differentiate their companies by bolstering job offers with PTO, retirement plans, and comprehensive health insurance that includes mental health insurance, which has fast become one of the most critical benefits expected at all career levels, perhaps owing in part to the psycho-social impact of the pandemic on workers and their families. Workers want employers to support their mental well-being, and the importance of this benefit cannot be overstated.

According to Calm’s Workplace Mental Health Trends Study, 67% of respondents want their employer to help them deal with stress and anxiety, especially as work challenges top the list of mental health issues, ranking higher than the loss of a loved one, personal illness, or family health concerns.

6.   DEI is Definitively Essential Infrastructure now if you want to keep and retain talent.

DEI initiatives like mentorship, diversity training, and employee resource groups rapidly rose in 2020 and 2021, but progress slowed in 2022. With 62% of workers saying that they would consider leaving a company or turning down a job offer if they do not feel their manager supports DEI initiatives—and rises, unsurprisingly, to 80% for African American respondents, it is smart business to bolster Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness programs if you want to remain competitive.


Bottom Line

Want to stay relevant and competitive when looking to attract or retain the best tech talent? Offer compellingly competitive comp, robust career and professional development opportunities, remote/hybrid work options, top-tier health—including mental health—benefits, and ramp up your DEI programs. Doing so will help you stay ahead of the pack and give you a competitive edge when attracting new talent and working to retain the top tech workers already with your organization. If turnover is high at your company, your cost-per-hire is going to skyrocket—find out more about hiring the best workers in a smart and efficient way, we’ve got your back. Reach out to us here—we look forward to hearing from you.