In Battle for Top SaaS Talent, Companies Must Arm Themselves Accordingly

To understand the importance of the battle for top tech talent, look to one of the industry’s biggest players.

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In the past two years, Microsoft has made a play for two platforms that form an immense pipeline for recruitment. The company acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016 and GitHub, the software project repository, in 2018 for $7.5 billion.

But for businesses that can’t afford to buy a major recruiting platform (or two), how can they stay competitive in the race for the best and brightest minds?

One way is, not surprisingly, to pay them more. Industry insiders recommend that companies start strong when it comes to compensation offers, especially base pay. And don’t stop there. Financial incentives can take many additional forms besides salary and the typical stock options and 401Ks most employees have come to expect. Student loan relief has been another perk employers have dangled to attract top tech talent in recent years.

Companies that have a strong mission and a positive social impact such as Tom’s or Warby Parker often resonate with millennials as well. Many firms will fund volunteer work or donate product to support a cause. While these initiatives don’t necessarily improve an employee’s bottom line, a company with a philosophy can be one of many intangible benefits that employees look to when considering the organization.

Another key could be in the management of existing employees. Even large corporations like IBM are are adopting an agile approach to management for maximum effects. For instance, instead of an event-based approach to performance appraisals with set checkpoints, review and feedback becomes an ongoing dialogue, with managers and employees each given ample opportunity to chime in. What’s more, upward feedback, from subordinates to superiors, is also being integrated to increase accountability.

Changes like these to the HR aspects of a business can resonate with millennials who are looking for a workplace that fits their lifestyle, and not the other way around. But no matter what organizations do, the war for top talent will continue to be fierce. Organizations would do well to arm themselves with some --or all-- of these incentives to continue to be competitive.