Perk up: IT industry pushing incentives to attract skilled staff

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Auckland-based IT company Vend is known within its industry for the perks it offers employees. Free snacks? Sure. A game of pool or ping pong? Go for it. Working from home? Absolutely.
According to Vend’s Head of Talent Kirsti Grant, all the perks are a strong component of the company’s mission and work culture. “The perks include things like great hardware and professional development funds and being able to bring pets to work, fruit and pool tables, international office secondment, work life balance and all manner of things, depending on what kind of role we are filling,” she says. “But all of it is secondary in the recruitment approach to being able to make a dent in the world and impact in their industry.”
The company is not alone in its approach to recruitment and talent retention. A report released by Absolute IT this month has shown that about 75 percent of IT employers in Auckland are willing to pay big incentives in order to attract the right people for the job - and more and more of these incentives go beyond money.
According to the report, the perks are well received by jobseekers – 65 per cent of survey respondents say they would change jobs for a better salary package (rather than just more money). In response, the IT sector is offering increasingly better benefits, including mobile phones, car parks and work flexibility, among other things.
With new projects in the pipeline and expected growth for the sector, the IT industry in Auckland is changing its recruitment and staff retention strategies to ensure the new projects go ahead. While money continues to be important – 36 per cent of staff, according to the survey, will receive a median bonus of $6,000 – non-monetary incentives are making a big difference to where skilled workers choose to go.
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