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How to win the war for top tech talent

Sharon Florentine | July 11, 2017
By emphasising engagement, purpose and innovation, the financial services industry is showing how to beat Silicon Valley at its own game.


Focus on flexibility

Flexibility, too, is a major factor in attracting and retaining top talent, says Schawbel; the issue comes up as an important issue for job seekers in nearly every survey and it’s not going to be overshadowed by higher salary rates.

“Not to beat the dead horse, but flexibility and remote work, job-sharing, compressed schedules are a huge factor. Yes, good pay and benefits matter — in fifty years, those things will still matter. But looking at Silicon Valley and taking cues from that means you have to consider flexibility,” he says.

According to the survey, 80 percent of employees say they wish their employer offered flexible or compressed schedules, 37 percent say they wish they could telecommute, and 69 percent say they need flexibility and telecommuting options to stay in the financial services field. Pay alone is not enough to keep them there.


Make good on a meaningful employee experience

If your organization is competitive when it comes to salary and benefits but you’re still having issues attracting the type of talent you need, then you need to take a hard look at the employee experience you’re offering, and at how you can improve engagement, says Malysa O’Connor, senior director of industry marketing at Kronos.

The employee experience encompasses what it’s like for workers day-to-day — everything from your dress code to the quality of managers to philanthropy, mission and purpose, engagement and morale.

“There’s no reason working in financial services and helping to improve someone’s life or a customer’s experience have to be mutually exclusive,” says O’Connor. “Financial services companies, mortgage companies — they’re never going to be Google, honestly, but that’s okay. They don’t have to be. A lot of what makes Google and other tech startups who they are is the employee experience and how talent is engaged and motivated. Culture doesn’t cost a lot but it really does make a major difference,” she says.


Emphasize engagement

How can you drive engagement? According to the Kronos survey, employee engagement is driven by meaningful work, opportunities for growth, rewards, and reducing office politics.

When asked how they thought their company could better engage them in their work, 45 percent of employees say they wanted to be shown that their work made a difference, 39 percent say lessening office politics would help; and another 39 percent say that removing bureaucracy would be an effective tactic. In addition, 36 percent say that supporting their personal and professional goals would help and 19 percent say removing silos would heighten engagement.

When asked what their employer could do to attract and retain talent, 54 percent of employees say that companies should reward people more than once a year with a bonus; 47 percent say the company should recognize people more often; 38 percent say that the company should provide ongoing coaching and development; and 29 percent say their companies should provide more training for managers. Employees also felt that time off for professional development (28 percent) and volunteering (20 percent) would help attract and retain great talent, according to the survey results.


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