In the midst of historically low unemployment rates in the technology field, hiring managers face constant pressure to recruit in-demand technologists within structured salary bands. In many cases, the money simply isn’t there to increase salary levels and expectations must be adjusted. However, there are strategic ways to make hires without blowing your tech hiring budget, and they include understanding market rates, selling the role, and highlighting your company’s x-factors.

Understand Market Compensation Rates

Location, cost of living, experience level, and other economic factors make a big difference in setting a realistic expectation of what to offer for a role. For example, the market rate for a mid-level DevOps Engineer in Denver is $110,000. Further, in Denver, a junior-level Full Stack Developer goes for $80,000, while one at a senior level commands $130,000.

But what if you’ve never hired a Full Stack Developer before? How can you discover what the right ballpark is? Or, even if you have a Developer on your staff currently, how can you know their current salary is on par with the market and that they aren’t tempted by a competitor’s improved offer? It takes research. That can be through the internet, talking to peers, or reaching out to the people who hire for these roles day in and day out. If you’re not connected to these channels of information, then finding an up-to-date technology salary guide can be a quick and reliable solution.

Sell the Role, Not the Salary

Technology candidates often have multiple job offers at once, and this can cause hiring managers to try and up the salary in order to convert their offer. While 45% of people change jobs for higher compensation, the majority of technologists are interested in not just salary, but in the role itself. They’re looking for careers, not just jobs.

Throughout the recruiting and interview process, highlight the role’s responsibilities. What projects will a potential new hire be working on? Pull back the curtain and give them the details, describing the software and hardware they’ll have at their fingertips. Tell them about specific project goals and let them know who they’ll be working alongside to get them excited (and informed) about the opportunity. By properly selling the role, market rate offers can be adhered to as planned.

Highlight Your X-Factors

What sets your company apart to potential candidates? Today’s technologists are looking to make a tangible impact on their coworkers, department, company, community, and the world at large. Programmers want to know that the software they create helps real people in their everyday lives. Developers want to work for purpose-driven organizations that make a point to improve society, whether directly through their products or by volunteering.

Research proves additional money only brings people more happiness up to $75,000 per year. Considering most in-demand technology roles pay at or above that level, it’s no wonder technologists are looking for differentiators outside of salary to drive their career decisions. What benefits does your company provide? Do you offer health insurance, work-life balance, free food, catered lunches, gym memberships, onsite daycare, or fun employee events? Any of these perks can be the x-factor that converts a candidate into an employee.

The Keys to Staying Within Your IT Hiring Budget

Matters of money are delicate, but when you’re genuinely interested in a candidate it’s time to drop the poker face and be very intentional. Adjust your expectations to match the market, extend your offer, and clearly relate what’s in it for the technologist sitting across from you. Doing so sends a strong message, ends an interview on a high note, and makes landing a skilled employee for your open role that much easier.

Looking for up-to-date technologist market rates for Denver? Download your free Denver Technology Salary Guide here.

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Written: June 2018