Finding the right candidate for an open position takes time. The average job opening draws more than 200 resumes. Technology managers have it even harder. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020, there will not be enough qualified college graduates to fill the over one million computer science-based jobs.

What’s more, while tech and hiring managers reportedly want to add employees this year, most report that it is increasingly difficult to find talent with the right combination of skills. While most of today’s tech job candidates have considerable technical skills, they often lack necessary soft skills including communication, teamwork, problem solving and other basic abilities.

So, what does this have to do with Salary Negotiation? Simply put, everything! Keep reading to find out how to avoid losing top talent over salary negotiations.

The Importance of Salary in Hiring Tech Talent

It is vital that employers offer the right compensation package to land top talent. Failing to present a competitive offer can result in losing the candidate you’ve worked so hard to find. Often, candidates are lost over a salary gap of just $2,000 to $5,000. At this stage in the process, you have invested a significant amount of time and energy in attracting and evaluating the perfect candidate. It would be a shame to let a few thousand dollars keep you from closing the deal.

How do you ensure the compensation package you are offering is competitive? Here are a few tips.

Do Some Research

Before you start looking to hire for an open IT position, it is important to sort out the specifics of the job and determine what will attract the right candidate. Investigate the range of pay for similar IT positions in your industry, what salary varying levels of experience will expect, what technology platforms your organization uses, etc. You’ll also want to explore how much the typical tech candidate might already be making.

Technology talent likes to be challenged. Presenting a job as an opportunity to test and showcase unique skill sets will help appeal to candidates.

Establish a Competitive Package

Once you have defined the guidelines of the job, you’ll want to build an attractive compensation package. In addition to a realistic range of pay, establish what else you can offer the ideal IT candidate. Does your company support telecommuting? Can you offer extra days off? Might you provide signing or performance bonuses?

Research finds that raises, career advancement opportunities, flexible working hours, remote working options, and training programs appeal most to technology professionals. Be sure to outline these and any other incentives that can sweeten the offer you present to a candidate.

Know Your Limits

Even if a particular IT professional is all around the best candidate for an open job, sometimes you just cannot pay the salary she wants. Knowing your limits is important. You don’t want to do anything that would be detrimental to your organization in the long run.

When you have hit a non-negotiable point in salary discussions with a potential candidate, ask her what else she would value in addition to salary. Focus on what “extras” you can offer in terms of benefits, eligibility for COBRA, tuition assistance, paid time off, etc.

Be Transparent

Transparency is important in the interview process. So long as you are prepared, salary conversations can be clear, open and up front. Clear communication prevents surprises for potential candidates. It also ensures you don’t waste time interviewing someone who won’t accept the terms of the job.

When you’ve taken all the right steps to find an ideal candidate, sometimes it just comes down to doing what it takes to get her in the job. In the technology field, the right salary and compensation package can make all the difference.

Ask the Experts

It can be challenging to create a compelling offer that is still fiscally responsible. Partnering with a technology staffing provider can help you secure top talent and avoid salary missteps. At PSI, our team can provide you with valuable insights into the compensation packages for different roles, skills and levels of experience across diverse industries. Our salary negotiation expertise can help bridge the gap between a candidate’s salary expectations and what you want to pay for the position—resulting in a win-win scenario for all involved.

Need help securing top IT talent? Contact us today and put our expertise to work for you.