Looking to build a work culture that tech talent loves? Learn about the key elements, from work/life balance to diversity and inclusion, and watch your team thrive.

If the success of your business depends on attracting and retaining outstanding technology talent, you probably spend a lot of time wondering what employees really want. Generous salary and benefits? That goes without saying. Cutting-edge technology stack? Consider it done. Flexible, supportive and innovative company culture? That's a little more challenging.

Arguably, however, it’s just as important. Indeed, one report found that factors like toxic workplace culture, job insecurity and failure to recognize employee performance ranked higher than low compensation as predictors of worker attrition. A great company culture, by contrast, acts as a positive feedback loop — the stronger it becomes, the more likely you are to attract top talent, strengthening your culture further.

So, how can you build the kind of organizational culture that meets the expectations of today's most in-demand tech talent? Start by following these tips and best practices.

1. prioritize work/life balance

Promoting a healthy work/life balance for employees goes beyond simply extending the work-from-home policies of the COVID era. Instead, look at the bigger picture and invest in your team's overall well-being. Tech workers expect to work hard, but your team's productivity and morale will nosedive if everyday deadline pressures escalate into chronic stress or burnout.

First, identify your team’s pain points. You can conduct regular surveys, host team feedback sessions, or have one-on-one conversations with your employees. This will help you understand their specific needs and concerns.

Next, consider introducing policies like unlimited vacation time, “Flex Fridays” and no-meeting days. Encourage your team to take breaks throughout the day and set boundaries between work and personal time. 

2. embrace diversity and inclusion

The tech industry has a long-standing diversity gap. With white employees making up 62 percent of the workforce and women not only underrepresented but also underpaid, it's clear that there's work to be done. The gender imbalance even influences product design, from smartphones too large for the average woman's hands to VR headsets more likely to cause discomfort for women than men.

Plenty of evidence shows that employees — particularly younger ones — want to work with diverse teams. To make your workforce more reflective of your customer base, take proactive steps such as providing unconscious bias training for hiring managers, encouraging employee resource groups and forging strategic partnerships with organizations that aim to increase diversity in tech.

Finally, prioritize weaving diversity and inclusion into every aspect of the technology lifecycle, from ideation to implementation. This includes involving diverse voices and perspectives in the design, development, testing and deployment of products and services, ensuring that these solutions are accessible and inclusive for all users.

3. harness the power of mentoring

A well-structured mentoring program can help you develop the talent you have and attract the talent you need. Onboarding alone rarely covers everything employees need to know, and in the fast-paced tech world, people need to quickly adapt to company operations, protocols and the organization’s “unspoken rules.”

With a mentoring program in place, mentees can seek guidance, ask questions and receive feedback from more experienced employees, boosting their effectiveness in their roles. At the same time, mentees can share fresh perspectives with their mentors, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

4. organize hackathons to build team spirit

Hackathons are a tried-and-trusted way to encourage teamwork and innovation in your company. Developers, designers and other pros from different departments come together for a fun, sprint-like event. They're racing against the clock to achieve a specific business goal, like researching or building a new product. The competitive nature of hackathons fosters friendly rivalry and cross-functional collaboration as your tech team joins forces with colleagues from other departments, such as product management or marketing.

5. create clear career paths for your team

Tech workers need a roadmap to navigate their career journey within your company. By spelling out roles, responsibilities and expectations for each level, you'll give them a sense of security and direction.

Ditch annual or bi-annual performance reviews and switch to continuous evaluations. This way, team members get constructive feedback in real-time, allowing them to quickly make any course corrections necessary to advance in their role. Also, give employees the time they need to attend workshops, conferences or online courses to broaden their skills and knowledge, further supporting their career growth within your company.

6. use video job descriptions to shine a spotlight on your culture

Instead of using generic, text-based job descriptions, post videos that showcase your culture and highlight what makes your company unique. You can feature employees discussing their projects, challenges and achievements against your office environment's (hopefully appealing) backdrop. The cast should include remote, hybrid and office-based workers, highlighting your flexibility and commitment to work/life balance.

The latest generation of tech talent is looking for more than just a job. Many won’t settle for anything less than a purpose-driven career with a company that shares their values and has their back. Optimize your recruitment of top IT professionals with a provider who laser focuses on your organization’s staffing needs and delivers results every time. Get in touch with Randstad today, and trust us with your most pressing and challenging hiring needs.