What are today’s top IT talent looking for

What are today’s top IT talent looking for? Money’s a motivator, but it’s not the only attractor.

How recruiters can help their clients move beyond salary and uncover the rest of the reasons why people would want to work for them.

If money was no object, we would triple everyone’s salary, so they earned enough not to have any concerns about money. It’s an interesting theory – and it certainly would go over well with employees – but it’s likely that it ultimately would fail.

Here’s the problem with being overly focused on finding the salary sweet spot to get the best range of job candidates for a position. Money’s a motivator, but it’s not the only attractor. In fact, in a job market where recruiters and their clients have to fight for top talent, paying top dollar may not even be the magnet that pulls in top talent. Employers today must move beyond salary. It isn’t the “what” that attracts talent. It’s the “why.”

A different calculation

Here’s the part where you’re probably thinking that it’s time to blame things on the Millennials. And, while it’s true that they’ve caused a massive shift in how recruitment gets done, the real blame actually goes to society as a whole taking a few steps forward in thinking.

You do hear a lot about how today’s companies have had to do some inner searching to come up with answers for Millennials who demand to know the value of their contributions. They’re seriously interested in knowing how their individual contributions impact the organization.

Then, there’s a 360-degree turn. Millennials also want their employers to provide them with information about how they are creating change and improvement for customers.

Much ado about nothing

It would be worth ruffling some feathers if this was a revolutionary new way of thinking. The fact is that nearly all large organizations have, for quite some time, undertaken both employee productivity and customer satisfaction research.

Kudos, then, to the Millennials for being some of the first to press employers to offer this information as a perspective. It’s part of a much larger paradigm shift.

Once upon a time

It used to be that all an employer needed to nail was the ability to reel off a list of perks and benefits. Paid health insurance. Generous vacation. Et cetera. These were all peripheral decorations of the main attraction – salary.

It’s gone through the evolutionary stages and graduated from being esoteric. Today any job worth pursuing must give you its life/work balance pedigree. Money? Sure, that’s great. But, what’s the true and measurable fulfillment an association with your company offers?

Never has there been a time when it’s been more necessary to demonstrate reciprocity. And that doesn’t mean providing a list of the things a candidate will accomplish in exchange for a paycheck. It’s a carefully crafted story about contributions, investments, and shared growth. It’s no longer a job description. It’s a narrative that says, “Here’s what we can accomplish together.”

Yeah, but…

Light years from what fits on the average forms a recruitment company currently shares with their clients, huh? Garbage in. Garbage out.

There simply aren’t enough stellar job candidates to sing along in the key of status quo. If recruiters want to attract the next cycle of superstars for their clients, they’ve got to stop belting out the same tired refrain. It’s time to ask clients for a deeper dive into fulfillment. The headline is no longer “Starting Salary.” It’s a confident statement of purpose.

We dwell in a time when job candidates call the shots – at least the ones worthy of pursuing. They don’t expect to have to ask you to tell them how and why you will make a difference if you come aboard. You had better be prepared to offer that upfront. Salary is no longer your trump card. Fold and walk away from the table if that’s the best thing you have to play.