February 2016: The Bonus Game


As the market to recruit technology professionals intensifies, employers must offer enticing perks to stay competitive for talent. While salary is king when attracting top tech pros, there are many companies that haven’t yet played another powerful card: a bonus program.

dhiSatisfactionSalaryAccording to Dice’s annual salary survey, 37 percent of technology professionals received a bonus in 2015. Those more likely to receive a bonus worked at companies with more than 1,000 employees or held positions in the banking/financial, software or professional and business services categories. This means an untapped opportunity exists for smaller firms or those in other industries to attract and retain employees through bonuses.

An extra payout at the end of the year seems to have positive effects, with 60 percent of tech professionals who received a bonus reporting satisfaction with their overall compensation. For tech pros who didn’t receive a bonus, less than half (48 percent) were satisfied with their compensation.

Those tech pros who earned a bonus were more confident in their job prospects, with 70 percent saying they could find a favorable new position in 2016; some 35 percent anticipated changing employers within the year. Contrast that with the 64 percent who felt similarly confident despite not receiving a bonus.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 512,000 tech pros voluntarily left their positions every month in 2015, the highest number in the past 14 years. This signals tech talent is confident in the market and believes their next job is right around the corner, provided that job has the right benefits.

For employers who have yet to begin an employee bonus program, creating one specifically for tech departments that hit goals and accomplish large projects is one incentive that may keep tech teams intact and engaged.

Bonus programs are a great way for companies to stay ahead of competitors. Use them as a bargaining chip when negotiating with that hard-to-find tech pro, and fill open roles faster than the company across the street.

Bob Melk
President, Dice