"If you're not offering [customized bonuses] then you're not competitive so from a retention and even from an acquisition standpoint it's a much harder sale."
Monetary bonuses appeal the most to developers, said Goli, making cash paid out on an annual or semi-annual basis the most popular incentive. Equity in a company is another common incentive.
"If you're utilizing cash, it has a little bit more tangible, meaningful effect on someone calculating their total compensation so when they're comparing new opportunities they can take that into account," he said.
With workers in major technology markets changing jobs every three years, short-term equity plans are becoming more popular, Goli said
Companies are developing incentive programs with short vesting cycles of 12 to 18 months to deliver an immediate impact.
"If you put something in front of people and say it is going to vest in four years the impact is not as much," said Goli. "Companies are trying to take this 12 to 18 months at a time and give something that is tangible that will make them feel unique and get them to stay."
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