7 Best Tips to Attract Top Tech Talent (From Top CTOs!)


Tech talent is the current demand for the industry. More and more people are looking for jobs that allow them to use their tech skills to their fullest potential.

Some companies are known for paying their employees exceptionally well, building a rockstar team that includes talented and experienced individuals.

Others take advantage of these skilled employees by demanding too much or doing nothing in return.

No matter what the expectation, when it comes right down to it, tech talent still has a list of requirements and wishlist they have out of any prospective employer.

1. Pay Top Dollars for Top Talents

Unsurprisingly, a better salary package ranks first among the reasons why talent hunts for new possibilities (65 percent). Salary takes precedence over other factors such as a desire to work on cutting-edge technologies, work-life balance, and career advancement chances.

This is escalated when talents are faced with the temptation of receiving a 22% increase bump in salary, according to our Tech Salary Report 2021/2022.

"Always pay top dollar for top talents," Julius Uy, CTO of Kydon Group & ZilLearn said. According to Julius, various studies have found that the top 10% of engineers outperform the top 50% by up to 2.5 times. "What this basically means is that companies save a lot of money by paying top dollar for top talents."

Julius also discussed how, despite only having four engineers, the Viki Android app was able to regularly offer high-quality output and outperform the other main streaming platforms.

Companies can also build their compensation plan to remain competitive by granting Employer Stock Options (ESOPs), equity, and performance bonuses to reward exceptional employees' excellent performance.

It might be worth it to read up on salary market trends and verified salaries submitted by users at each company at NodeFlair Salaries!

2. 10x Developers Attract Other 10x Developers

One of the non-compensation aspects that matter for tech talent, according to Eddie Lau, Engineering Lead at Crypto.com, is "strong teammates and leaders who are willing to boost her/his growth"

Top talents are brilliant individuals who are ecstatic about the prospect of learning and improving. More than anything else, the prospect of collaborating with like-minded individuals who can push them to reach their goals excites them.

Julius (Kydon Group, ZilLearn) added: 

The most important non-compensation item is top tier colleagues. Guy Kawasaki often quotes Steve Jobs saying that A players attract A players. B players attract C players. I think this is true. People who are average will enjoy working with others who are less smart because they can assert their dominance. Not so with top talents. Top talents are easily discouraged when they have to work with people less smart than them.

3. Challenging Problems To Solve

Capable talents love taking on complex issues that require them to put their mind to work. Getting to work on significant challenges keeps them motivated.

Good opportunities to learn, grow and work with other top talents,” Gibson Tang, SEA Engineering Lead at Lenskart. “I think being challenged regularly matters a lot to talents with a growth mindset”.

On the other hand, talents switch off and become demotivated if they need to deal with low-level problems; it will only be a matter of time until they quit.

Great engineering managers must also articulate the challenge and enthuse the team. "You should clearly communicate the product vision and technological challenges", according to Pavel Kudinov, CTO of Connected Freight.

4. Learning-oriented Culture 

When looking at why high talents are attracted to other top talents, it may be boiled down to growth and learning. According to StackOverflow, 35 per cent of employees seeking a new job are looking for growth and leadership opportunities.

Eddie Lau shared that the culture at Crypto.com is very learning-oriented.

Process Design is all about attempting, retrospecting and becoming better next time. Team Formation is based on learning potential and chemistry between people. Performance Review is about finding the growth path to career goals. There are budget and time reserved for learning as well.

There will inevitably be times when one's core work becomes less exciting. Teck Chun Pang, DataSpark's Head Of Engineering, responded by saying that management can allow for side initiatives that are not directly tied to the core task.

Derrick Lee, CTO of Accredify, mentioned that on top of the opportunities provided within Accredify, the company has a learning fund for external courses and skills.

5. Autonomy and Flexibility 

According to StackOverflow, flexibility ranks as one of the most important factors for developers when evaluating employers. People thrive when they can be trusted, have freedom, and make a difference. 

However, there is an unhealthy reliance on processes in many firms, with little room for creativity. More processes are introduced every time something goes wrong, and eventually, organisations lose the flexibility and autonomy they had when they were small.

Team processes rely on providing context and not control,” shared Alwyn Tan, hiring manager at Open Government Products (OGP). He added:

(There is) Freedom to work across different projects and across the technology stack. Vertically integrated teams have the operational freedom to own problem statements.

Besides enabling autonomy through culture, the correct policies also play a part in empowering and trusting talents. Ishan Agrawal, CTO of Funding Societies, shared that the company does this through an unlimited leave policy, a remote-first culture and flexible working hours. 

6. Exciting Technologies & Proper Engineering Process

According to StackOverflow, 39% say that wanting to work with new technologies is one of the reasons they are looking for a new opportunity.

This explains the talent drain into the blockchain development that is happening fast. In Web3, innovation happens at lightning speed as technological advancements are made daily. Naturally, top talents cannot contain their excitement and want to get their hands dirty on them.

But if you are not in the business of blockchain technology, fret not - there’s no need to pivot as you can improve your engineering process instead.

Without the proper engineering processes, even a well-funded and talented engineering team cannot operate on peak performance. They will be spending more time fixing bugs or rectifying poor decisions made.

Some questions for evaluating your engineering process include:

  • Are code reviews and testing part of the development process?
  • Do you have Continuous Integration (CI) in place? What about Continuous Delivery (CD)?
  • Do you evaluate the tradeoffs when choosing a particular tech stack?
  • Is there a proper process to prioritise technical debts?
  • And more …

7. Making an Impact

Seeing their effort make a difference motivates the best developers. The positive impacts they have on their coworkers, the company, the business metrics and the users have frequently been the most motivating and rewarding factors. Thus, it is crucial to give them the room to contribute while also ensuring that they can see the value they have made.

It is also one of the main reasons engineers are attracted to startups. They get to design and build great systems used by many from the ground up from day one.

For example, Instagram only had 13 employees when it was acquired by Facebook for a billion dollars. Yet, it had 25 million users. Imagine their sense of accomplishment!

For Teck Chun of DataSpark, this means “societal impact that a company may contribute to other than their core business; or even better: their core business helps create positive community impact directly or indirectly”. 

Bonus: Stop Losing Your Next Great Hires!

You might be thinking: “We checked all the boxes above, but why do we still face great difficulties hiring?”

The truth is, there are many other similar companies out there like you that checked all the boxes above. 

The issue lies not in tech talents not knowing who you are, but them not knowing about your engineering culture and WHY they should join you.

In addition, you may be spending your job advertising dollars on traditional job boards. However, these job boards only attract active job seekers that comprise only a third of the talent market. Most importantly, top talents are mostly passive - you are casting your net in the wrong sea!

Recognizing this, we decided to help you become a more attractive employer and hire up to 2x faster! Simply claim your employer page to get started now!

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