When the results of Zebra People’s salary survey came in (take a look here) the clearest thing was the stark contrast in salaries for each sector. Companies in the financial sector can offer salaries far exceeding any other, it’s just the nature of the best. So what can companies in other sectors do to compete? Several things as it happens.
Top end tools and embrace new technologies
A slight cliché but all developers love to play with new tools. Embracing new technologies can help to lure in new employees, as well as retain your current ones. If people see your team using the latest technologies you’ll be taken seriously, by other developers and even potential clients who see that you’re always on the lookout for the next big thing. I’ve worked with a company in the past that gives the team a couple of hours on Friday afternoon to play around with new things – they’ve lost one member of staff in the last three years.
A relaxed working environment
No, this doesn’t mean sun loungers and parasols, rather the general environment within an office. How often do clients see the tech team at work? Rarely, if ever. So what’s the need for a dress code? Give a bit of leeway and you’ll have a far more content team. This doesn’t just apply to the clothes employees wear, what difference does it make if lunch is taken at a different time, or 5 minutes is taken out of the day for a personal call? From experience the companies that offer a more relaxed work environment have a far higher productivity among their employees.
Training, support and education
Similar to point 1, developers love to learn new things. So why not encourage that? Very few companies invest in their employees, benefits are generally not tailored to each department.
Developers are generally expected to learn new languages at their own expense. I’ve worked with several companies in the past who offer to pay for courses where the skills will help the company in the future. It’s a win-win for both parties – the employee picks up new skills and the company gets a more productive employee.