Tech employers offering top dollar for top talent

The technology industry never stops innovating, churning out products that consumers and business owners use to make their lives simpler and more efficient. But it takes top-tier talent to staff the machines that create the gadgets that are ubiquitous as ever. As such, employers are willing to increase what they pay to entice the best of the best, according to a newly released survey.

Among technology-based workplaces that are hiring, 1 in 3 would be willing to pay as much as 15 percent more than what they're offering now if the investment resulted in employees with superior performance and experience, a recent poll conducted by staffing and recruitment firm Modis found. Additionally, 35 percent indicated they'd make the same offer to former workers who had departed their posts within the past 90 days, and 33 percent said their job proposals were good regardless of when previous employees moved on, whether three months ago or later.

One-third always on the job hunt
While the national unemployment rate has fallen significantly since the Great Recession – south of 5 percent for most of the past year, according to data maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor – many of today's workforce constantly keep an ear to the ground for other opportunities to present themselves. This suggests businesses may have more options to choose from, as the job pool isn't comprised solely of people between jobs. According to a separate survey conducted by ManpowerGroup Solutions, one-third of employees are always hunting for jobs. This is particularly true among technology professionals. Tech firms frequently contract with employees and require those whose skill sets are manifold due to the speed at which technology advances. Because of this, firms are always looking for new talent.

Regardless, Jack Cullen, Modis president, said that if business owners want excellence, they have to pull out all the stops to woo big-time performers.

"With the tech sector unemployment rate at 2.6 percent, the pool of available and skilled [workers] is smaller than ever," Cullen explained. "Nearly two-thirds of tech employers are open to offering currently employed candidates a 6-15% increase to their current salary to attract the cream of the crop."

He added that employers also need to be open to negotiation if what they're offering and what hires are asking for conflict.

A meeting of the minds is increasingly common today, both for salary and non-monetary job perks. A survey of chief financial officers last year by Robert Half found that 43 percent were open to discussing terms on benefits that they and job candidates could see eye-to-eye on.

Tech firms are hiring to satisfy demand and will pay a premium to get the cream of the crop. Tech firms are hiring to satisfy demand and will pay a premium to get the cream of the crop.

Even though hiring firms hope their offers are compelling enough for highly skilled employees to switch sides, there's something to be said for those who have stayed at their present posts for more than a few years, Cullen noted, as this kind of commitment is a good indication of future behavior.

"While 'the grass is always greener' mentality tends to be a common perception among highly skilled and employable tech workers, loyalty is a trait that IT decision-makers view most positively," Cullen said. "It's been found that candidates with tenure of five or more years at their previous post were more attractive applicants."

6.5 million work in technology sector
The tech industry is one of America's largest, employing approximately 6.5 million people, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association. Massachusetts has one of the highest population densities for tech employees, estimated to comprise nearly 10 percent of the private sector. California, the most populated state in America, is home to the most people who work in technology, totaling 1.1 million. Texas is a distant second at 581,200.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.