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Ray Tomasco

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How Leading Global Technology Companies Retain Top Talent

Corporate culture has become a focal point of research and discussion, within the last ten years.  Prior to changes in the global economy, many employers had a different perspective when it came to the management of human resources.  Recruitment costs were lower, and talent in major technology hubs was easier to source, compared to the current competitive market.

It can be expensive to source a new hire, whether for a skilled technical position or a senior executive role.  Many successful employees are unwilling to make a change, and are content to stay with their employer, provided they feel the arrangement is mutually beneficial.  That the job fits their social and intellectual needs, while providing monetary and lifestyle accommodations, that help them realize other goals they have in life.

There is no marketplace quite as competitive as the IT industry right now, worldwide.  So strong is the drive to find new technology talent, that organizations frequently work to recruit in other countries.  This is very true for the United States, where a report released in April 2017 revealed that 82% of H-1B visas were issued to highly skilled workers for corporate tech companies, sourcing IT skilled workers from China and India. This trend is also recurrent around the globe, as demand exceeds supply of trained and experienced tech innovators.

If every technology company and start-up were paying the same salary, how could an organization successfully recruit based on monetary merit alone?   The most successful companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and other brand leaders invest substantially in a corporate culture that both attracts talent, and helps retain it for the long-term.

From open work areas with tropical waterfalls and Muskoka chairs (IBM Canada) to free food and beverages, nap rooms and other incentives, the provisions for technology workers are imaginative and legendary, demonstrating the length that businesses are willing to go to, in order to retain their most valuable resource.

Understanding the Value of a Rich Corporate Culture

Employees can spend thirty to over forty-hours per week within the work environment.  While many management to employee conversations stem on salary as a reward indicant for job satisfaction, organizations that invest in a rich corporate culture, see measurable returns in both productivity and talent retention.

What does a rich and fulfilling corporate culture look like?  It is a combination of social factors and a supportive demeanor that trickles down from the C-Level to all levels of staffing, including middle management.  It’s a sense of belonging to something important, and reinforcing the value of every member of the team to achieve success and growth for the organization.  And it’s not only about valuing employees, it is a constant communication that they are the organizations most valuable asset, and resource.

Some of the hallmarks of a successful corporate culture include:

  • Strong communication between corporate executives and teams.
  • Employee involvement and input into strategic planning.
  • Social events and celebrating landmark achievements as a team.
  • Training, team building and ongoing professional development is provided.
  • Employees appear engaged and excited about their contributions to the organization.
  • The organization experiences low employee turnover and attrition of talent.

Organizations that are successful at creating and sustaining a positive corporate culture, allow for a degree of transparency that translates to involvement and connection with all employees.  It something that is perpetuated on a daily basis, not only during holidays or special occasions.  In addition to retaining talented employees, businesses see other benefits, including appeal to new workers in terms of recruitment, and productivity.  Employees stay and work hard for organizations that make them feel they are part of something bigger; a community that cares about their role, and their well-being.

Salary Versus Lifestyle Balance and Healthcare Incentives

When employers are polled regarding factors that contribute to job satisfaction, executives and management teams are almost unilaterally certain that it relates directly to salary.  The more an employee is paid, the happier and committed that employee will be to the organization, right?

Research studies and surveys in recent years have marked a substantial shift in priorities for employees under the age of fifty. In one study by the Society for Human Resource Management, “Job Satisfaction and Engagement: The Road to Economic Recovery,” cited other compensatory factors for driving both performance and retention, in American organizations, including:

  • Robust employer provided healthcare insurance, dental and prescription drug benefits.
  • Retirement plans and private pensions, or stock options.
  • Vacation time.
  • Flexible work-from-home opportunities.

The impact of the global economy on business has seen salary increases and monetary incentives wane, or in some cases freeze entirely.  Workers in the last decade have understood that pay increases were not always possible, and they have shifted culturally to emphasize other employer provided benefits that relate to quality of life instead.

Regardless of economic factors, employees view their commitment to an employer in terms of the amount of acknowledgement they receive for good performance, an emotionally positive work culture, and perks and incentives that enrich their personal life, and family needs.

 Does that mean salary is no longer a factor in recruitment?  No, but as the economy improves employees anticipate raises and increased incentives to be offered, as the business climate changes.  In the interim, job satisfaction is being defined as liking where you work, being paid competitively, and enjoying the perks of wellness and lifestyle benefits.

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