"Certainly there's a lot of creative stuff going on, especially around Silicon Valley. It's sort of a comeback of what we saw 10 or 12 years ago," Goli says. "Onsite services, from getting your shirts dry-cleaned to getting a haircut to getting a dentist appointment. Free food, more types of food, healthy food that's happening a lot more."
Coveted perks include flexible schedules and the ability to occasionally work from home. "What motivates people more often than not is something that allows them to have flexibility and work-life balance," Reed says.
The extracurricular perks that resonate with IT pros are generally the more substantive extras, Cullen adds. IT pros are a motivated group, in general, and the opportunity to keep skills fresh and stay challenged is paramount. Candidates look for an environment where they can improve their skills, do things they like to do, learn new technologies.
"Anybody who feels their environment is stagnant is immediately looking, and they're the easiest ones to encourage about the next opportunity," Cullen says.
Given all the churn in the marketplace today, there's even more pressure on CIOs and IT leaders to take care of their existing people. "Culture development inside the company has become very important. Creating an environment with these extracurricular benefits, training, and flexibility is important for attraction; it's equally as important for retention. The whole attrition game has really been bothering companies," Cullen says.
"Your recruiting efforts really begin with the people on your team," Reed says. "As you're looking at recruiting people into the organization, make sure you re-recruit the people who work for you now before you worry about the people you're trying to bring in from the outside."
Otherwise, as you're bringing people in the front door, more will be leaving out the back door, he warns. "You have to be engaged and make sure you have your finger on the pulse of job satisfaction of your employees," Reed says.
In the big picture, 2015 looks really promising, Reed notes. "The new year brings new budgets, new projects and new initiatives. We anticipate a really strong start to the year."
"It's absolutely a great time to be a tech pro," Goli says.
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