As anyone in business knows, getting the right person for the right job is just one half of the battle. The other half is keeping good talent. According to Stack Overflow there is 1 developer for every 5 vacancies globally.
While retention of talent is an industry-wide problem, the latest research from Linkedin suggests that it’s particularly problematic in technology. From software companies to start-ups, the tech industry has the highest turnover of staff – up to 15.5 per cent in gaming and 14.9 per cent in Internet, compared to the national average of 10.9 per cent.
So, why is tech-turnover so high? High demand and rising salaries in a competitive industry are said to be major factors. This is also an ever-changing market, which can struggle to keep up with the digital skills shortage.
The good news is that there are job retention strategies organisations can take in order to retain tech talent within business. From competitive perks to well-considered benefits, here’s some of the most successful techniques companies can adopt.
While employees must be compensated adequately, money alone is not an employee motivator. All the added benefits of working for a company contribute to the overall value. This is why it’s important to listen to your workforce and reflect a benefits package that retains tech talent. A common misconception in trendy companies is for perks to include free breakfasts, games rooms and laundry services. Sure, they all help, but are not long-term motivators.
Instead, ask your colleagues what perks they’d like to see, what their friends might have in their workplace, or what motivates them personally. It might be as simple as allowing sabbaticals for long-service employees, or days off to undertake charity work, or even being able to collect travel rewards for flying with certain airlines, instead of the company cashing them in. Taking the time to actively listen to your staff can lead to improved satisfaction levels, work culture and productivity, all resulting in lower turnover.
We’ve established that money isn’t a motivator for employees, however, if you don’t remain competitive, you will lose good staff. Research by COI found that two-thirds of IT workers weren’t happy with their salaries, the majority of which are millennials – arguably a vital market for the fast-paced tech industry. To retain staff, organisations can look to industry bodies to salary check and benchmark against the industry standard, including bonuses and perks.
The tech industry prides itself on setting trends and being at the forefront of change. Flexible working is an important part of working culture and one that is integral to the IT industry, which is anything but nine-to-five.
Also, with more working mothers than ever before, and with 87 per cent of the UK workforce either currently working flexibly or wishing to, it shows that greater job flexibility is a significant perk that the industry needs to pay more attention to, in order to hold on to its tech talent. For instance, VisualSoft is one such company that offers unmonitored flexitime to its loyal workforce.
Offering training, courses and personal development projects to employees shows your commitment to them as long-term team members. The Body Shop pays its staff for five volunteering days a year, as part of their giving-back ethos. Of course, training is fully expected as part of personal development. A smart way to pitch this to employees is to offer them a training allowance, with a set amount of ‘training days’ to use at their discretion. Offering this trust and investment in your staff shows that you value their contribution and are committed to their future in the company.
One of the best ways to retain staff is by promoting them. After all, being overlooked for promotion is a sure-fire way to get rid of good staff. Where possible, always look internally first to hire senior-level positions. It’s the best PR a company can do for itself to demonstrate the value it places on its workforce.
It is after all, much better to keep good staff than lose them to a competitor!
There you have it, five essential job retention strategies to implement in your tech business today, to start demonstrating the value of your staff.
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Author: Lorraine Fretwell
Lorraine has partnered with some of the biggest names in the UK & Ireland, delivering key talent for the most challenging roles. She has built and developed large teams in several agencies and has a proven track record at finding the unfindable when presented with the quirkiest of job briefs.