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Report: Firms Luring Developers with Customized Bonus Plans

Demand for software development talent is so far out of whack with supply that more companies are resorting to customized bonus plans to attract applicants, according to the July jobs report from careers site Dice.com.

The unemployment rate for software developers was 2.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, Dice said. That compares with a 6.1 percent national overall average rate reported last month.

"With competition for top talent intensifying, companies are creatively using bonuses to attract and retain expertise," said Dice president Shravan Goli in an e-mail.

Dice gleaned the information -- included in its July jobs report -- from a survey of 700 employers with developers on staff.

Goli said the concept of unique bonus plans was born in the technology and gaming companies, and now it's broadening into more industries. And developers are getting special attention, especially as of late.

41 percent of unique bonus plans were enacted since start of 2013.
[Click on image for larger view.] 41 percent of unique bonus plans were enacted since the start of 2013.
(source: Dice)

"For those companies with bonus plans, one in 10 employers (11 percent) currently have programs tailored exclusively for software developers," Goli said. "For many, those specialized performance programs have only recently been put in place, with 16 percent of hiring managers noting programs were just beginning this year and [about] 26 percent having seen programs launch in 2013."

The survey found that 65 percent of companies polled indicated that at least some of their software developers were participating in bonus plans.

"However, when the choice is between an employer with no plan, with a bonus plan or with a plan specifically for developers, which employer will stand out to technology professionals as really caring about their craft?" Goli asked.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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