How to attract great talent in Austin during the pandemic

These days, everything is “unprecedented.” Everyone is looking for a “new normal.” — We get it! We’ve all heard the same tired headlines, but did you know that thousands of companies are still hiring talent in Austin?

In fact, the majority of companies have actually maintained or increased salaries during the pandemic. Particularly in Austin, the market is still hot. Companies are going to have to offer competitive salaries and compelling benefits to fill open positions.

Let’s take a look at the hiring market in Austin and see what employers can do to attract and retain top talent.

Who’s hiring in Austin right now?

Many hiring managers see the unemployment numbers and expect there to be an abundance of candidates, but that hasn’t been the case in our experience.

“Salaries are holding steady, and competitive benefits are more important than ever.”

Austin-based company indeed.com currently shows almost 20,000 job listings right here in Austin. At CCN, we’re still seeing plenty of direct hire searches. Salaries are holding steady, and competitive benefits are more important than ever.

Sadly, hospitality, entertainment, and travel industries are suffering, but many others are carrying on business as usual or even experiencing increased demand. Some of the winners include grocery chains, logistics, and finance. In fact, a recent LinkedIn News survey showed that finance “now leads the way in employer confidence among U.S. industries.”

Here at CCN, we’re finding the biggest discrepancy to be in mid-level talent in Austin — roles like senior accountants, senior financial analysts, and accounting managers. In our experience, there is more supply and less competition in lower-level and senior-level positions.

These days we’re also seeing an increased number of job seekers from of out-of-town. Many talented workers are willing to relocate for work, and Austin’s robust market is the place to be. Demand for commercial real estate may be declining, but residential real estate is booming.

Tips for attracting great talent in Austin

Pre-pandemic hiring often emphasized lifestyle benefits with happy hours and break room baristas, but who needs bring-your-dog-to-work day when you work from home?

It’s time to cut the fluff and get back to basics with strong numbers and clear communication of work-from-home benefits. Many employers are now offering salaries at or above pre-pandemic rates. Candidates are much less willing to be swayed by non-monetary benefits; competitive health plans and retirement benefits are critical.

Non-monetary benefits may look different, but they are still a valuable way to create an attractive work environment and demonstrate a positive company culture.

  1. Work from Home Options: This perk is number one on every applicant’s list. Many like working from home, while others are ready to get back to the office. The majority want a combination of both. Either way, people want to know that there will still be flexible options after the pandemic.
  2. Flexible PTO: Job-seekers want to see policies that reflect the changing work week. Both small companies and top employers in Austin are moving to offer unlimited PTO.
  3. Provide Hardware: Proper computer hardware and connectivity are essential! Some companies are even providing office chairs and other accessories to bring home the creature comforts of the office.
  4. Food Allowance: Give your employees something special by delivering food for meetings or special occasions. Uber Eats and Door Dash allow teams to order food from anywhere in town and put it all on the same tab. Some companies are even offering a daily/weekly food allowance.
  5. Social Experiences: It’s easy for remote workers to feel like another cog in the wheel. Validate the importance of team dynamics and networking by virtual hosting happy hours and social events (inside work hours — no one needs an extra zoom meeting!). We’ve heard of companies shipping a bottle of wine straight to their employees doors or offering an expense allowance for delivery from Austin’s own Twin Liquors.
  6. Reimbursed Expenses: Remote working offers significant saving for employers. Some companies are sharing these saving with their workers by reimbursing expenses for internet, communications, and even rent.
  7. Continuing Education: Companies can show that they invest back into their employees by providing virtual learning experiencing or supporting continuing education. It’s a great time for workers to learn a new skill.
  8. Travel: According to a recent Harris Poll, 74% of Americans would consider taking a “workation” where they both work and play remotely from a vacation destination. Why not encourage or even reimburse employees who want to get out of the house and broaden their horizons?
Forward-thinking companies are reinventing remote work dynamics. We’ve seen employers investing in home office equipment and even delivering wine for virtual happy hours.

Put your best foot forward

Because it’s such a hot job-seekers market, employers need to have realistic expectations about timing. Typically, skilled positions aren’t being filled right away.

Once you get applications in, it’s important to follow up quickly, or risk missing out. We’ve seen qualified candidates entertaining multiple offers in a relatively short amount of time.

“Once you get applications in, it’s important to follow up quickly, or risk missing out.”

Once the interviews begin, employers need to communicate clearly about benefits, compensation, and policies. Ask your team about their remote experience and find out what really matters to them. Be prepared for common work from home questions… Have you extended an official deadline for working from home? Can employees come into the office if they want to?

Leverage CCN to Find Great Accounting Talent

No matter where you are working from, our direct hire team is here to help you find great talent and navigate the remote knowledge transfer process.

Our recruiters have direct experience in internal finance and accounting departments. We know exactly how to spot the people you need — and we’re experts in video interviewing!

These days, our hourly direct hire pricing model is more attractive than ever, with many clients saving 50% compared to traditional compensation-based recruiting.

Send us a message or give us a call at 512-900-2152 to get your search started today.