Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Where Netflix’s Bid for Competitive Talent Misses the Mark

The tech industry is grappling with an urgent personnel problem. By 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the software developer deficit alone will eclipse 1.2 million. As the demand for skilled workers continues to increase, companies with the deepest pockets and the most cachet will have a huge advantage.

Netflix is ​​one such company. In addition, she wasted no time in capitalizing on her current position in the market. Last year, the streaming giant dethroned Google as the number one tech employer – a victory many people attribute to its two-pronged strategy of employer branding and posting impressive starting salaries (ranging from $ 70,000 at $ 850,000).

Digging into the Netflix problem

While it may sound appealing, Netflix’s branding is insufficient. But why?

Building an employer brand primarily around salary offers is superficial.

It’s superficial as there is no story in there and certainly nothing to make you stand out when competitors start offering similar pay. Instead, Netflix (and other companies) should do the following:

1. Consider quality versus quantity of employees

Certainly, creating an employee-led podcast and offering higher wages will increase the volume candidates. After all, 75% of job seekers say they are attracted to companies that actively manage their employer brand, and 80% of HR managers agree that employer branding helps them attract talent.

But consider this: it already takes about 23 more days to hire tech talent than it does to fill other roles. Now that Netflix recruiters attract just about everyone, they’ll have to scour a tidal wave of applicants to find the most qualified candidates. The result? Further extend the time needed to hire and integrate top talent.

2. Justify the higher salary

Getting people through doors is only half the equation. In my opinion, Netflix failed to make the tangible connection between its higher wages and Why it is such a revered place to work. He also didn’t clarify what it takes to thrive as a Netflix employee from day one.

It’s about telling high quality candidates, “Here’s what you need to be prepared to put into this organization in order to reap the rewards of a higher salary. “

By using this give and take approach, Netflix is ​​sending the message that it pays more in the marketplace while setting expectations in the workplace that are why only high caliber talent will be chosen to receive these benefits.

3. Tell a more compelling story

There is something beautiful about a cohesive culture where people strive to be successful and improve together. It’s a story everyone loves to hear. Great business leaders can push their teams further than those teams thought possible due to their history and the purpose of their trip.

Pay isn’t a compelling story in and of itself – and it may not even be the competitive edge it once was. The average software developer salary has been on the rise for some time now. In May 2020, for example, the median annual salary was $ 110,140 for software developers, with the lowest 10% of workers earning less than $ 65,210 and the highest 10% earning more than $ 170,100. Companies therefore have two choices:

  • Outsource their tech work to Eastern European countries like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Romania, which have huge pools of IT manpower and cheaper rates.
  • Pay their employees at London, New York or San Francisco prices to keep up with industry averages.

Yes, money will always be important. But when paying engineers and developers, high salaries become the norm; job seekers will turn their attention to something more compelling and differentiating, like the promise of playing a role in revolutionary technological advancements. Sadly, Netflix isn’t telling these stories yet.

4. Position a job at Netflix as a career catalyst

As a leader, you want to paint a picture that reflects the purpose of your organization: how you are disrupting the market; how you extend what is possible; and how, if an employee remains loyal to your business, it will be set up for long term success.

It’s the difference between an average developer taking a job for money and a developer who is passionate about their job and seeks to be part of a company known to launch people to career success. Sadly, Netflix missed the opportunity to solidify its reputation as a career catalyst rather than just an employer.

Where does Netflix go from here?

Netflix is ​​at a crossroads. Gone are the days of the rambling startup that made its way to the top.

Netflix has already reached the realm of being a “massive corporate entity”.

So Netflix has grown into a huge corporation, and in the process, its employer brand has become much more transactional: “Come work for us, and we’ll pay you a lot of money.

This sterile employer branding story leaves Netflix wide open to competitors – smaller startups with big ambition and the ability to galvanize high quality candidates around a mission. As a result, the company can either adjust its outreach approach to emphasize tangible brand value, or risk losing top talent to companies with more strategic hiring plans and an employer brand. stronger.

Image Credit: thibault penn; unsplash; Thank you!

Bryan adams

CEO and Founder of Ph.Creative

Bryan Adams is the CEO and Founder of Ph.Creative, an employer branding agency that has built world-class employer brands and talent engagement strategies for companies like Apple and American Airlines. He is also co-author of the book “Give & Get Employer Branding”.

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