Negotiating Job Offers with IT Candidates: Dos and Don’ts for Managers

Technology is integral to every part of business, from data-driven decision-making to customer service. As a result, the demand for skilled IT candidates has surged.

Hiring managers find themselves scouring the marketplace for qualified candidates, competing with other companies for each skilled and experienced specialist. The abundance of available positions makes negotiating job offers with IT professionals hard. Any misstep in the process, and they may lose interest in your offer and choose to work for your competition.

Fortunately, there is a way to manage the process to increase your success rate. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you negotiate job offers with IT candidates and secure top technical talent for your company.

Dos: Negotiating Job Offers with IT Candidates

The negotiation process has become critical as the demand for qualified IT professionals continues to outpace supply. Following these dos will help you navigate the ever-evolving IT landscape and help you make a job offer that is tough to refuse.

1. Build your employer brand

While building your employer brand may not save a negotiation already underway, it will help you target passive candidates in a saturated job market. Increasing your visibility as a desirable workplace gives you more opportunities to negotiate with skilled and experienced tech candidates, reducing the pressure on you to find and win them.

Include employer branding in your social media campaigns and recruiting efforts. Consider making behind-the-scenes videos that showcase what your company does day-to-day. Showcase your company’s culture, mission, and values. Use any opportunities to pair with influencers to expand the perception that your company is a great place to work.

2. Think total compensation, not just salary

Many IT job seekers field multiple offers. Salary is important, and you want your proposal to be competitive and attractive. However, the details that win a candidate to your company may relate to benefits and perks.

Take the time to learn about the applicant’s priorities and wants. Do they prioritize time with family? Are they looking to beef up their 401(k)? Are growth opportunities important to them? The more you can customize your offer to their preferences and needs, the more likely you are to get an acceptance.

3. Gauge their motivation

Just because an IT professional is interviewing with you does not mean their motivation to find a new job is strong. After the initial interview, check in with candidates. Ask them how the position at your company ranks on a scale relative to the other positions they are considering.

If your company has piqued their interest, you have created an opportunity to dig deeper into their wants and needs and find out if there are things you can change to increase their interest. If the objection is something you cannot change, like location or industry, then you can invest your valuable time in other candidates.

4. Showcase an inclusive work environment

Generation Z is expected to comprise 27 percent of the workforce by 2025. They grew up with technology more integrated into daily life than any previous generation.

While many workers from every age group prioritize diversity and inclusivity, this trend is robust among Gen Z workers. To win these younger, tech-savvy workers, make the ways you foster an inclusive and engaging work environment visible.

5. Try toD turn around a rejected offer

If your offer is rejected, it’s worth asking why (as soon as possible) to see if it is something that can be reframed or remedied. Perhaps the other offer is higher, but you can offer more long-term growth or more satisfying work. If you’ve thoroughly understood the candidate’s preferences, motivations, and desires, you may be able to help them see why your opportunity is better. Job offer negotiations aren’t just one conversation!

If not, the feedback will help you refine your process with the next candidate.

6. Consider incorporating temporary workers into your team

The high demand for IT professionals makes temporary or contract roles attractive to those who like a variety of projects and flexible schedules. Skilled consultant tech professionals can demand higher rates and choose their projects.

You can address your IT talent shortage, at least in the short term, by adopting a hybrid approach. Consider bringing on specialized freelance IT professionals to fill gaps. Developing these relationships can turn into hiring opportunities down the road.

Dos and Don'ts of Negotiating Job Offers with IT Candidates Column 1: Dos (Don't use numbers—use bullets) -Build your employer brand through the job process -Think total compensation, not just salary -Gauge their motivation -Showcase an inclusive work environment -Try and turn around a rejected job offer -Consider incorporating temporary workers into your team Column 2: Don'ts -Lowball the candidate and expect a counteroffer -Be rigid about perks and other benefits -Enter the hiring process with unreasonable expectations -Overly complicate or prolong the hiring process

Don’ts: Negotiating Job Offers with IT Candidates

As the scarcity of qualified IT candidates amplifies competition, it’s important to steer clear of negotiation pitfalls. Avoiding these don’ts will make your hiring team more effective at negotiating job offers with IT candidates.

1. Lowball expecting a counteroffer

Top IT professionals often know they are in high demand and expect competitive salaries. While the overall package, company culture, and growth opportunities also impact their decision, don’t assume they will continue negotiating after a low salary offer.

Your offer communicates how much you value their talent and want them to come aboard. Even if they seemed very engaged with your company until this point, a low offer can cloud their perception of the organization and position. It may shift their thinking toward the negative.

Rather than giving you time to negotiate, a low offer gives your competition an advantage.

2. Be rigid about perks

Flexible schedule options, performance-based bonuses, growth opportunities, or extra superannuation can significantly impact the candidate’s lifestyle or financial future. While you have to work within the limits of what supports your company’s success and structure your employment contracts to get what you need from new hires, it’s worth considering the benefits and perks that are important to top candidates.

3. Enter the hiring process with unreasonable expectations

Hiring IT professionals has gotten more expensive, and it’s reasonable to want a strong candidate with exceptional skills. However, if you’re unrealistic when negotiating a job offer, you will make finding the right worker harder.

Work with department managers and experienced recruiters to define realistic candidate profiles. By opening communication avenues and aligning expectations with the realities of the talent market, your efforts to find, vet, and hire qualified candidates will be more effective.

4. Overly complicate or prolong the hiring process

Employers who can be efficient and agile during negotiations will win more candidates. Efficiency doesn’t have to come at the cost of being thorough. For example, instead of scheduling multiple interviews and technical tests over days or weeks, set them all up in a single day.

If you have multiple decision-makers in an interview process, employ recruiting software to help centralize everyone’s feedback. The faster you can make a preliminary offer to your top candidates, the less likely another company will snatch them up.

Related: 10 Strategies to Accelerate Your Hiring Process

We Can Help Hire IT Talent

Recruiting IT talent requires persistence, adaptability, innovation, and a willingness to stay abreast of advancements in the industry. Hiring managers can add exceptional IT professionals to their organization by implementing smart strategies when negotiating a job offer.

At Insight Global, we have over 20 years of IT staffing experience. We have a vast pipeline of skilled and experienced IT professionals, and our recruiters are intimately aware of the innovations and advancements in the industry. If you’re ready to hire IT talent, we can help.

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