Tech pros name their most-wanted job perks

Attention hiring managers: These are the extras that will give you an edge in the fight for top talent

The IT job market is as hot as it has been in years with high salaries, challenging projects, and jobs available across all sectors nearly everywhere in the U.S. Companies are fighting for top talent, which has led them to re-examine the perks they can offer to attract and retain IT pros. Dice.com has examined the most-wanted perks across four hot tech fields: software engineering, cloud computing, big data, and mobile development. Here's what matters most to IT pros.

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Lunch

Free food is always welcomed, especially if you work in big data and mobile development, both of which named it as their most-desired fringe benefit. Lunch was the second most-wanted perk for those in cloud computing, and #3 among software engineers.

See also: 11 foods you'll be eating in 2050

Tuition reimbursement

IT pros know you're only as good as your skills, which in tech are constantly changing. They understand the importance of continuing education, be it advanced degrees, certifications, or other study. Which is why schooling paid for by an employer is the top perk for software engineers, #3 for mobile developer,s and #4 for those who work in cloud and big data.

Gym membership

Healthy body-healthy mind is a concept valued by those in cloud computing, who named gym membership as its top non-monetary bonus. "Technology professionals often view what they do for a living as more of a lifestyle than an occupation. Attracting these professionals requires a package of compensation and perks that enhances their minds and bodies, as well as their wallets," notes Dice President Shravan Goli. The perk of a gym membership landed at No. 2 with software engineers and mobile developers, and No. 5 for those in big data.

Casual environment

The laid-back, beanbag-chair-sitting, ping-pong-playing cliché of a tech office has long held and is still holding on strong. Working in a casual environment was the second most-wanted benefit for those in big data, and No. 3 in cloud computing. Casual environment didn’t make the Top 5 for software engineers or mobile developers.

Working with latest technologies

IT pros want to grow their skills, learn new technologies, and develop cutting-edge projects, so it's no surprise that the desire to use new tech made the Top 5 in three of the four areas surveyed: mobile development (#4), and software engineering and cloud (both #5).

Note: A setup like the one at left is decidedly not what these IT pros have in mind.

Referral bonus

Landing top tech talent is difficult, and a company's employees can be their best source for new hires. Rewarding employees via referral bonuses is a top benefit in three of the four areas surveyed: big data (#3), software engineering (#4), and mobile development (#5).