The Best Tech Companies for Poaching Top-Tier Talent

Recently, The Information surveyed its readers about the tech companies that produce the strongest recruits (from a technical and product perspective). Google came in first place, followed by Facebook and Amazon; Apple came in fourth, followed by “Other,” a write-in category that included Netflix, Uber, and Stripe.

The results are unsurprising but nonetheless interesting. If mature tech giants tend to produce candidates with a reputation as eminently hireable, it’s because those tech pros needed an incredible mix of skills and experience to be hired at those institutions in the first place. That those companies invest considerable amounts in employee education and training can’t hurt, either.

However, these companies differ as to the kinds of poachable talent they produce. For example, The Information added, Apple is known “as a place to find hardware, software and operations talent.” If you’re on the lookout for tech pros with a strong operational background, Amazon is likewise an excellent hunting ground—the company’s entire tech stack is ultimately geared toward delivering products and services to customers as efficiently as possible.

For those companies that need tech pros skilled in machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.), and have the budget to even have a faint hope of locking down what’s inevitably high-priced talent, then Google, Microsoft and Facebook employees (and some alums) are ideal targets: All three of these firms have invested extremely heavily in A.I. talent, although it’s hard to steal away an employee making at least high-six-figures a year (in addition to stock bonuses and the like).

But it doesn’t always come down to cash. As various Dice surveys over the years have shown, tech pros don’t just care about the size of their paychecks; they also like perks and benefits such as remote work, flexible hours, and short commutes. Even if your company doesn’t have the money to compete against the tech giants to hire top-tier talent, there are other things you can work into the offer. Sometimes all it takes is a cool core product, or a potentially world-changing mission, to bring the best talent over to your side.