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April 01, 2014

Three Smart Tips to Attract Top IT Talent

The catchphrase from the movie Jerry McGuire might have been “Show me the money!” but that’s not necessarily the only way to attract the brightest technology minds to your company. Of course compensation will always be a key consideration for candidates, but there are other ways to become known as a top-pick workplace for the most skilled IT talent.  

#1: Promotions are great, but certifications last forever.

Even if you can’t offer top dollar for talent, or promise opportunities for advancement right away, you can offer something that might be even more attractive to IT talent looking to keep their skills cutting-edge: The chance to pursue and secure certifications in the latest new technologies and skill sets.

Securing new certification credentials is one of the best career moves IT professionals can make. Offering new hires the chance to build their skills roster while employed with you shows that you’re invested in their professional development and understand what it takes to stay at the top of their game.

Research the most in-demand certifications in your industry, whether they’re in Big Data, cloud computing, mobile technologies, project management or other emerging technology areas. Show candidates you’re serious about helping them grow, and they’ll choose you to be a partner in their success.

#2: Provide opportunities to make a difference.

A recent Forbes article entitled “What Millennials Want Most” described how the new generation of Gen Y and millennial workers crave a chance to make a positive impact on the world. In other words, for many of the top tech talent you’re seeking out, work isn’t only about a paycheck.

No matter whether you’re hiring Mobile Programmers, UX Specialists or any IT expert in between, you can create opportunities for employees of all stripes to volunteer, contribute to charitable causes or use their time and talents to help non-profit organizations. Start with classic volunteer programs like Habitat for Humanity, or look to your local community for ways to make an impact. Maybe tech talent can help build websites for nonprofit organizations or help disadvantaged kids improve their computer skills? Consider polling current employees for ideas on how they’d give back, given the chance.  

Once you have programs and policies in place that will allow employees to make a difference, be sure to describe and sell them as a point of differentiation for your company during the interview process. You’ll capture the hearts and minds of IT talent who want to make the world a better place (while they write killer code).

#3: Be a place where employees look forward to coming to work.

Sometimes it’s the little things—and a few out-of-the-ordinary perks—that make employers a top choice for hot tech talent. According to Business Insider, companies are offering creative benefits that range from free snack pantries and a bowling alley at Google to acupuncture at Cisco Systems’ (News - Alert) onsite gym. Other fun ideas can be as low-key as company softball games or as traditional as reimbursement for continuing education.  

There may also be something special about your corporate culture that can attract talented people to your organization. Is cross-team collaboration more than a buzzword at your company? Do you have an open-door policy that encourages participation in leadership from all levels? Are there incentive programs that reward technology innovation and ideation? Would many of your employees describe the workplace as feeling like one big family?

While these intangibles may not figure into the balance sheet of candidates’ compensation packages, they can make a big difference in how employees feel about coming into the office—and they could be the “X” factor that figures in your favor.

Just as the best candidates find ways to make themselves stand out from the crowd, these tips show that there are steps you can take to elevate your company to the top of talented IT professionals “most-want-to-work-for” lists. Be creative in tallying up all the aspects that make your company an awesome place to work. You’ll improve morale for your existing employees, as well as attract talent who can help take your company to the next level.

As founder and CEO of Mondo, Michael Kirven is the strategic visionary behind a company that has maintained a growth rate of 40 percent year-over-year for the past 13 years. Navigating new territory expansion, Michael has lead Mondo to nine cities nationwide opening offices in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale and Dallas in 2013 alone. From its humble beginnings in a closet sized office where Michael, employee number one, sat with a Rolodex and phone book, to a company with a national presence and over 300 employees, Michael has truly built Mondo from the ground up.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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