Looking to attract tech talent? Try offering lower cost of living, a desirable climate and shorter commute times, according to a recent CompTIA study.

The leading trade association for the global technology industry conducted an interactive survey of 916 IT professionals in April 2019 to research the motivations behind the choices that tech professionals make when evaluating where to live and work.

78 percent of tech workers would consider relocation for a new job, with affordability (60 percent) and local economy (56 percent) as the two most commonly cited reasons for packing their bags for a fresh start.

What turns them away? 51 percent of survey respondents indicated high taxes are a detractor, while congestion was another red flag, particularly to older professionals. 57 percent of tech workers over 40 years old cited congestion as a negative factor.

“It’s clear that tech talent is mobile—especially when lured by affordable housing, reduced traffic congestion and better weather,” said Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president of industry relations at CompTIA.

“Our findings should give confidence to cities outside of the traditional tech hubs and provide a blueprint for recruiting and retaining top talent, including younger workers who are looking to put down roots and buy a home.”

For emerging tech communities angling to compete with traditional hubs, reduced cost of living may be an underutilized competitive advantage, considering that 82% of tech professionals described cost of living as the most important factor in deciding where to live.

Another way for employers to stand out in a crowded field is to emphasize societal impact to sway young workers, particularly Gen Z. 48 percent of tech workers under 25 years old say having a career that’s meaningful or helps others is very important, compared to 38 percent between 25-29 years old.

For women, location and income move the needle, with more than 93 percent of women saying job location is important with 55 percent saying it is very important. Only 43 percent of men say location is very important. Similarly, 74 percent of women tech professionals reported that they feel that income/salary is very important, compared to 66 percent of men.

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