Nearly four in 10 (37 percent) of technology professionals received a bonus in 2015, according to a report from IT jobs specialist Dice.
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, indicating an untapped opportunity exists for smaller firms or those in other industries to attract and retain employees through bonuses.
"For smaller businesses who cannot afford to offer attractive compensation packages or bonus programs, there are also cost-effective incentives you can use to attract top tech talent," Bob Melk told eWEEK. "For example, for tech professionals with a longer commute, providing more flexible work hours or the option to telecommute may be just as valuable as a competitive salary or bonus."
He noted that in addition, offering on-site training courses helps tech pros build their careers and shows your company is interested in developing employees.
"Tech professionals also tell us challenging work assignments are a primary motivator their employers offer," he said.
The survey of 16,301 employed tech professionals also found 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.
"In today’s market, with low unemployment rates and high demand, tech professionals have the upper hand in the negotiating process," Melk said. "However, despite this, there are always ways in which tech professionals can gain a better advantage."
He explained with skills constantly growing and changing in popularity, keeping an eye on what’s hot in tech and developing skillsets accordingly are key for a tech professional.
"Learning new skills allows you to be more marketable and provides you with the flexibility to change career paths," he said. "And let’s face it, with a market this tight, every tech pro should be thinking about the next career opportunity and exploring their options."
Melk said he believes tech professionals will continue to be in high demand as companies look to build out their tech infrastructures and find new ways to secure and mine large sets of propriety data.
"Skills related to big data, cloud and security, in particular, should continue to grow in popularity," he noted. "For companies looking to expand their tech departments, it is crucial to develop new and innovative ways to stand out from competitors to both attract and retain top talent."