The battle for top sales people and engineers is extraordinary in Silicon Valley and New York – These are our Talent War battle zones. The majority of technology growth occurs in these two large geographic regions and they also typically house the greatest number of top tier talent. The recession caused a stall in technological growth, but as we all know, technology will not stand still. As companies are racing to remain competitive they are creating a greater demand for programmers, engineers and sales people. The need for these candidates in our battle zones is greater than it has been in decades. These aggressive needs are now being greeted by a shortage of industry leading qualified talent.
As a consequence of the current growth in technology paired with a very real talent shortage, employers are being pressured to increase salaries and other benefits. Any time there is an increase in demand, coupled with a decrease in supply, costs will rise – in this case, salary and benefits. Within the technology industry we are also being faced with competition from industry giants who have the resources to offer greater salary and benefits to not only new hires, but their current employees as well. This makes it more challenging for hiring employers to entice currently employed talent. For example, Google gave all of their employees a 10% pay increase last year, in addition to difficultly rivaled benefits. In the tech sector, we are seeing salaries on the rise; just how much depends on the specific jobs, required skills and overall experience.
Companies are competing to acquire and keep their top employees and it goes beyond salary. Skilled recruiters are playing a very pivotal role in nurturing the talent pool, selling opportunities and facilitating the hiring process. It is important that companies partner with recruiters to identify talent and work with close and open communication when working through the interview process. Being able to effectively convey corporate culture, benefits, growth potential and overall company strategy is the combined responsibility of recruiters and employers. We need to be sure that every employer is selling what they have to offer and motivating growth via branding, word of mouth, presence, social media, etc. While the market continues to be competitive and the candidate pool remains in demand anything additional we can be doing to attract and retain employees will have an impact.
When enticing talent there can also be the perception that larger companies are more stable and that smaller ventures come with more risk. The reality is that there is no guarantee when it comes to employment and this perception is often a fallacy as every opportunity offers different potential, benefits and stability. Workforce reductions are a very real reality for large organizations when budget cuts are necessary for survival. These cuts are most commonly achieved through reduction in workforce. Cisco had to let go of 2000 employees in 2009 as a result of the economic downturn. Start-
Overall, companies should be prepared for when the labor market tightens by developing a strategy for attracting and retaining the right talent. Increased hiring due to economic growth will create more demand for talent, and more resources will need to be devoted to branding, marketing and recruiting. Changing these recruiting strategies by doing things like increasing salaries, offering relocation, increasing benefits, and creating greater awareness surrounding these changes will all become imperative. We also need to focus on retention by creating awareness around corporate culture, benefits, training, development, growth potential and even free lunch on Fridays!
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Redfish Technology specializes in locating talent in the High Tech and Green Energy sectors. Recruiting since 1996, the company offers nationwide coverage and offices in Silicon Valley, the East Coast, and the Intermountain West.