Competing for Talent in a Hot Market


When you’re a young company hoping to thrive and compete for talent in a hot market, like the tech industry, it can be tempting to succumb to the table stakes of the “free” work culture. Many of the most well-known tech giants of Silicon Valley offer free food, gym memberships, massages, dry cleaning, concierge services, work activities, the list goes on, all with the intention of attracting and retaining talent. But, are the free add-ons really working?

According to a 2018 LinkedIn report, the tech industry had the highest turnover rates at 13.2% with a median tenure ranging from 1-2 years. In other words, free employee perks might attract talent, but it definitely doesn’t keep them.

Organizations that effectively cater to their talent are those that prioritize strong leadership, effective communication, and dedication to its employees and their growth within the company. The lack of presence of these initiatives within some of the larger tech companies are exactly why employees end up leaving—just take a look at their company reviews on Glassdoor.

So, how can your company attract, retain, and engage talent? Here are three markers of a successful employer brand.

Growth and Recognition

Employees want to work at organizations that not only create opportunities for continuous learning but also for career growth within the company (i.e. promotions). There is an understanding that when you stop learning and advancing in your career, you run a high risk of falling behind and becoming less competitive, especially in today’s economy. New companies and trends are constantly emerging and the talent pool will only become more skilled.


Full transparency and communication between leadership and employees about the direction the organization is heading in and how it intends to get there highly factors into how aligned employees feel within a company. Employees want to have a clear picture of where they are investing their efforts and ensure that there is still a place for them in the organization. Implementing this heavily relies on effective communication from managers and executives.


The togetherness of an organization must trickle down from the top. Employees want to trust their managers and believe that they are competent, communicative and experienced enough to not only lead and make well-informed decisions on behalf of the company but also provide mentorship and value to the company.

In today’s climate, working for an organization that has a strong, effective foundation and is willing to invest in its employees in a way that cultivates opportunity for growth and advancement are the organizations that will have the upper hand in attracting and retaining talent. The free add-ons are a plus, but employee satisfaction is really rooted in working somewhere that is dedicated and supportive to the growth of your career and goals.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California.

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