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Attract top tech employees
Giannenta MilioMarch 8, 20215 min read

How to Attract Top Tech Employees in the Era of COVID-19

The tech industry is very competitive when it comes to attracting the best talent. It is difficult to compete with tech giants like Google and its crazy benefits like pools and massage rooms at the office. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, employees’ priorities have changed, and those benefits may not be attractive anymore. Here are some strategies to attract top talent in the current social environment.

Home Office Setup

One of the things that have changed during COVID-19 is the number of people working from home. Some have already gone back to the office, but others decided to continue working remotely after having a taste of it. So, one benefit you can offer that will surely attract top talent is a home office setup.

Depending on the company’s budget, this can include the latest hardware and software, desk and ergonomic chair, and other extra technology needed. If the company can afford that, an Internet allowance may be enough for some professionals. But what is essential is remote working software that will allow them to work smoothly and collaborate with the rest of the team.

You can give them a stipend to buy what they think is more important in their home office. For example, some full stack developers may prefer to buy a second screen than a standing desk. Let them choose what they need.

Flexible Hours

One way to attract top tech employees is flexible hours. The pandemic impacted the whole world, and many people are struggling with different things because of it. Some people have extra responsibilities like a sick parent or kids that are being homeschooled right now. They want the freedom of working around their commitments and choosing the hours more convenient for them. An excellent way of attracting top tech employees is by offering flexible hours.

Some employees also like to choose depending on when they feel more productive. Some people prefer to work from 6 am, but others may choose to start their day later in the day. Sixty-nine percent of employees think flexibility is third in the list of priorities when choosing a job, and 30% have left a job because it didn’t offer flexible options.

Team Activities

With all the social distancing measures and the professionals that are still working from home, loneliness and isolation are becoming a real issue. One benefit that most employees will like is to offer team activities where they can interact. It can be anything from a party to some bonding or growth activity.

The company can also offer a social activities allowance. Employees could use this money to go out with friends, attend events, meet with family, or any other activity that will help them socialize. Give them a choice to do whatever they like in their free time.

One example of an activity you can organize if you are in the tech industry is a hackathon. You can enroll your software engineers and front end developers to compete. You will give them a chance to have fun while sharpening their coding skills.

Child Care and Family Aid

As mentioned before, many employees had sudden responsibilities because of the pandemic. These extra commitments included taking care of their kids and even helping in their education if they were really young. Some of the employees that work remotely may have more time to spend with their families, but it doesn’t mean they can do everything.

If they have more than one kid, it may be too much to take care of them and work at the same time. Offering child care and family aid will help you attract top talent with families and young children. You can offer daycare allowance and more paid time off for parents and caregivers. It will go a long way in making them feel less stressed and improve their productivity.

Learning and Career Development

Learning and career development is a benefit that most employees have in their top needs, and many even leave a job for lack of these benefits. It doesn’t matter if they are working remotely or in the office. If you want to attract top tech employees you have to offer these opportunities. This hasn’t changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some companies implement mentorship programs where new employees can learn from more experienced ones. This can be more attractive if you have star employees that are known in the industry. You can also offer your own learning platforms where employees can learn the skills your company needs.

Another option is to give them a yearly allowance or stipend for learning. They can enroll in university courses, coding bootcamps, vocational schools, or whatever they think will further their career.

Partner with Schools and Colleges

The pandemic hit a lot of sectors and has created one of the biggest recessions in many years. But students continue their education through online platforms, and many are graduating soon to enter a market more difficult than what they envisioned. An excellent strategy is to partner with schools, colleges, and universities to snatch their top students even before they graduate.

For example, Flatiron School is a coding bootcamp that offers companies to partner with them. But they aren’t the only institutions. Most of them will accept a partnership if it helps its students get internships and jobs after graduation.

Relocation Options

Because of the economic crisis created by the pandemic, many employees had their hours cut or lost their job entirely. Many people may have moved to cities closer to relatives or where the living expenses are cheaper. Offering relocation benefits may attract more employees that want to move back to a city they love or simply want a change of pace.

Offering relocation options will also broaden your talent pool because some candidates from other states may apply. Make sure to mention it in your job descriptions, and you will receive more top applicants.

In Summary

To attract top tech employees, you can offer home office setup because the new normal will include more remote working than before. Give your employees flexible hours, team activities, childcare and family aid, and relocation options. An essential benefit if you want to compete in the tech industry is learning and career development opportunities. Finally, you can partner with colleges and schools to snatch the best talent before any other company.

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.