Perks like ping pong tables and snack bars are no longer enough for organizations to win the war for tech talent, according to a Thursday report from Indeed. When evaluating a new company or job, tech workers are far more interested in factors including flexible schedules, transparent leadership, and advancement opportunities, the report found.

When asked about the characteristics tech professionals value most in a company, 89% of the 1,000 US tech workers surveyed said transparency from leadership, followed by the company giving back to the community (79%) and sharing their values (78%).

SEE: Special report: IT Jobs in 2020: A leader’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“Though it may be tempting to make quirky perks the center of attention in talent attraction, it appears that larger, fundamental factors are more appealing to today’s tech workers,” the report stated. “This holds true for both the company itself and for aspects and benefits of specific positions.”

When evaluating new jobs and companies, tech workers care about the following factors the most, the survey found:

  1. Pay and benefits (93%)
  2. Workplace flexibility (92%)
  3. Career advancement opportunities (91%)
  4. Opportunities for continuous learning (91%)
  5. Ethical reputation (90%)
  6. Wellness programs (88%)
  7. A diverse and inclusive workforce (87%)
  8. Culture fit (85%)
  9. Opportunities to volunteer or make a difference in the community (82%)
  10. That the company they work for has a well-known brand name (75%)

While pay and benefits were the most important factor, they were followed very closely behind by flexibility, advancement opportunities, and opportunities for continuous learning. This demonstrates that tech companies no longer can expect to hire the best talent with only a large paycheck in mind.

Of the professionals who said they value a flexible workplace, 59% said they value variable work hours, 25% said work from home, and 14% said remote work options.

Tech professionals surveyed said they would even be willing to take a pay cut for a company that offers better career advancement opportunities (50%), offers workplace flexibility (49%), and has a shorter daily commute (38%), the report found.

How to attract top tech talent

Based on the results of the survey, companies should consider the following in their tech talent recruitment efforts:

  • Emphasize the qualitative aspects of your workplace, instead of the quantifiable perks, including the openness of company leaders, charitable giving initiatives, the company’s brand values, and its technology.

  • Provide flexible work options

  • Offer options for continuous learning and employee development

  • Support internal career advancement

  • Promote diversity and inclusion efforts

“Career advancement, flexibility, diversity and transparency in leadership are top of the list in what workers value,” the report stated. “Given that the labor market is so tight — especially in the field of tech — it’s important to ensure that companies and recruiters are aligned on what candidates are looking for. Offer what workers want, and you can grab top talents’ attention.”

For more, check out Happy employees work in offices with these 8 amenities (hint: ping pong comes in last) on TechRepublic.

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