Employee retention strategies that can beat Big Tech

January 28, 2020

Is Big Tech stealing your workforce?

What do the current low unemployment numbers mean for you as a compensation professional?

There are simply less candidates out there who are qualified for vacated positions when employees leave.

On top of that, the tight labor market is increasing the demand for competitive compensation.

You’ve probably faced a similar scenario at some point in your career. But this time, it’s different. This time, your dilemma is coupled with a digital uprising.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you’re most likely now competing for talent with larger “Big Tech” companies like Amazon and Google.

These Big Tech giants are hiring workers across the country in large numbers for jobs related to data analytics, information technology, and various hourly positions.

They’re paying a premium to attract talent (sometimes double the minimum wage) and providing a host of perks like the ability to work from home, flexible hours, job autonomy, education assistance, and healthcare benefits for employees at all levels.

How do you compete with these tech behemoths to retain workers without blowing out your compensation budget?

1. Determine your local competition.

Local competitors may not be who they used to be.

Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you might be prone to thinking of your local competition as only other small- to mid-sized businesses.

But that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

Take for example Amazon, which is expanding its reach into communities throughout the United States.

Are they now your local competition?

To compete with companies like Amazon on the local front, it’s imperative that you understand your workforce, including criteria like:

  • Where are most of your employees coming from?
  • Are employees typically local?
  • Do your employees drive to work or rely on public transit?
  • Did your employees previously work for a competitor?
  • When employees leave, where do they go?

2. Identify virtual (remote) employment opportunities.

The labor market is no longer confined within physical boundaries.

Technology has given rise to workforces that can virtually perform jobs that once required a physical presence.

And when it comes to employing remote workers, positions related to tech are among the most common that are geared toward the virtual work environment.

Not only does “going virtual” allow companies to retain some of their most sought-after talent, but it extends a host of additional benefits — such as reducing office space.

Taking a fresh look at your current roles to see where work might be done virtually can give you a big leg up in retaining top talent.

Ask yourself:

  • Could any of your roles become virtual?
  • Does going virtual require additional training or even additional IT support roles?
  • If you decide that virtual work is possible, is your management team equipped to oversee a virtual workforce?

3. Update labor markets peer groups.

Even though you are one company, you may have more than one peer group when it comes to competition for talent.

Consider the following criteria:

  • Does the position require industry experience or knowledge?
  • If you were able to go virtual, how does the role change?
  • In a virtual setting, does your company size matter?

4. Look at what your brand says.

What does your brand say about you?

Your top talent may be lured away by names like Amazon and Google due to the appeal of these brands — not only because of their highly competitive pay.

These names alone embody a symbol of status that is coveted among workers for a number of reasons — their sheer influence in their respective industries, the quality of life they afford workers, and their innovations in technology.

To be competitive, you have to cultivate a culture within your own brand that energizes workers.

This is particularly true among millennial workers, who are known to be happier when working for a company with a common vision that aligns with their own personal values.

Keep these points in mind when positioning your brand:

  • Does your brand stand for a value that draws potential employees?
  • Have you looked at the alignment or contrast of your external versus internal brand?
  • Are you known for promoting from within?
  • Do you have a reputation for investing in employees, technology, and socially responsible initiatives?

Now that you’ve re-evaluated your roles and identified all of your competitors, you are ready to compete!

Check out Establishing a benchmark methodology unique to your organization to get started.

For even more information on compensation and rewards, visit imercer.com today.

Once armed with Mercer survey data, you’ll be ready to compete against the Big Tech giants!