The good news: IT employees are in high demand.

The bad news: IT employees know they’re in high demand, which means they get to be picky when it comes to job selection.

Whether you’re an internal or external IT recruiter, you need to have a finger on the pulse of what’s most important to these candidates. One of the biggest issues right now? Only 19% of tech employees report being highly satisfied at work, according to TinyPulse’s The State of Employee Engagement In Tech report. 

So, what drives employee satisfaction? What will attract them to the positions you have to offer? What will draw them away from their current companies?

Think beyond salary and consider what IT employees really want to see from today’s companies:

Professional growth opportunities

Tech is an ever-evolving field. As such, employees place a lot of value in professional development. They know they have to grow their skill set to stay relevant, handle more responsibility, and move up in the company. (Not to mention, continuing education opportunities help workers stay engaged.) Unfortunately, a mere 26% of IT employees feel they have a strong opportunity for professional growth.

As an IT recruiter, it’s your job to prove career growth is part of the company’s culture. Start by acknowledging that development and advancement are crucial in any tech role. Candidates want to know they’re being heard and that you share the same beliefs. 

Then, provide specific examples to back up your claims. For example, you might recount testimonials of current IT employees who’ve advanced, talk through the in-depth training program for new employees, or review online courses the company offers for free.

Connection to the company’s mission

Nearly 75% of IT professionals say they don’t know their company’s mission, vision, or values. That’s a problem. And it may be easy for an IT recruiter to think of these candidates as disconnected workers: people who simply perform their job duties and go home. But that type of mindset will hurt you in the long-run. 

Yes, IT employees are highly-technical individuals — but that doesn’t mean they lack emotion or interest in genuinely connecting with the company’s mission. In fact, their roles are closely tied to the company’s future and may even protect that future. 

Take time to review more than just the job specs with each candidate. Include conversations about mission and vision upfront to help IT professionals form a connection that goes deeper than the tech in front of them.

Work location flexibility

It seems like everyone these days wants to work remote, and who can blame them? You get to save time and money with no commute, go to “the office” in your PJs, enjoy a better work-life balance, set up shop anywhere you like … the list goes on and on. And IT professionals, more than anyone, understand the potential freedom technology has to offer. 

It should come as no surprise then that, according to a 2019 IBM survey, 74% of tech employees want a choice of work location and another 74% want tools to work anywhere. When asked how much the ability to work from anywhere at any time influences who they want to work for, 29% said it’s “very influential” and 45% said it’s “extremely influential.” 

Keep this in mind as you’re looking to fill open requisitions. Does the company offer remote work? If so, use that as a selling point. If not, understand you may need to find other ways to promote the job.

To feel valued

We all want to be appreciated and have our efforts recognized in the workplace. It helps fuel our drive to continue delivering high-quality products. This is especially true for IT employees/contractors. The likelihood that they will reapply for their job dramatically decreases when they don’t feel valued. That’s why it’s so alarming to learn less than one in five tech employees feel strongly valued at work.

And to make matters worse, only 47% of IT workers say they have strong relationships with their co-workers. This combination of feeling devalued and lacking collaboration makes for a toxic workplace. While there’s not much an IT recruiter can do to influence a client’s culture, you do have a hand in recommending candidates who are the best fit for the company. Boost satisfaction by pairing the IT professional with the organization that will most value their particular skill set.