How to Retain Your Best Tech Talent
With so many organisations vying for skilled tech talent, there is a solid business case for building a talent retention strategy in parallel to your recruitment efforts. Good recruitment practices won’t work quite so well if you struggle to retain high-value employees.
A considerable chunk of the tech workforce is ready to head to new opportunities at any given time when the right role presents itself, making retention more difficult for companies. Global research by Gartner shows that 20% of employees are actively looking for a new job, while in the Technology sector, that figure is at least 30%.
When employees choose to stay with a company long-term – despite the dizzying array of jobs available out there – that’s a sign your company is doing something right. But what exactly is that ‘something’? If you’re wondering how you can improve your company’s talent retention, read on to discover actionable strategies you can start using today.
Tips for Improving Talent Retention
The foundation of most employee retention tips is about how to make a company a wonderful place to work. Everyone needs more than one good reason to log in or come into the office every day and as an employer, that’s up to you to learn about from your team. What is making them come to work every day? Even better – what’s keeping them there?
It’s important that sought-after Product Managers, Full-Stack Engineers and Technical Leads have a good sense of job satisfaction. So, which factors make the biggest impact on talent retention?
1. Support Learning and Personal Development
There’s a saying in HR that people leave jobs when they feel they’ve stopped learning new things. So, it’s not a coincidence that the most admired and sought-after employers in tech all have a strong emphasis on learning and development baked into their company culture.
Providing on-the-job training and allocating time for working on stretch projects or volunteering can be highly effective retention measures. A well-targeted learning and development policy can help teams bridge skill gaps and gain new competencies – it’s a win-win for all!
2. Provide Flexibility
The concept of a 9-to-5 job might not be dead just yet, but there is no doubt a change in thinking has taken place in recent years. While practices like remote working are not new to the tech space, more workers have come to expect a broader variety of flexible work arrangements.
A recent CIPD study of UK employees compared job satisfaction between people who have flexible arrangements at work and those who don’t. The group with flexible work consistently reported higher satisfaction in categories such as work-life balance (76% vs 60%) control over their work (64% vs 46%), job (68% vs 56%) manager (70% vs 57%) and even their salary (56% vs 45%).
To get the most out of flexible work policies, consult with employees about their needs and how you can tailor arrangements for each person. Variable start and end times each day, additional leave and shorter working weeks are some examples of arrangements that can make a positive impact on retention.
3. Encourage Feedback and Sharing of Ideas
This one might be obvious at first glance but even the highest functioning workplaces should remember that people matter. A culture of open feedback and communication helps employees feel their contributions are valued.
To support an open communication culture, useful approaches include having an open-door management policy and informal one-on-one meetings with employees, along with team brainstorming sessions.
4. Offer Attractive, Industry-Beating Benefits Packages
Money isn’t the only motivator for top tech talent, but employers can’t afford to overlook the importance of an attractive salary and benefits package in their talent retention strategy. About 44% of tech workers are planning to ask their employers for a pay rise in the next 12 months, according to a recent global study by PwC.
To stay ahead of employee expectations, ensure everyone is receiving regular pay reviews. If budgets are tight, consider the types of perks or bonuses you can offer to round out a salary package.
Benchmarking salaries can help Hiring Managers make sensible decisions about pay. While salary benchmarking can be time-consuming, partnering with a technology recruitment agency can help you cut hours of spreadsheet time.
5. Pathways to promotion
No advice on how to retain top tech talent is complete without the subject of promotions. Giving employees a pathway to promotion shows they can plan for a long-term future with the business and not feel stuck in a dead-end position.
For some tech jobs, a promotion might not involve the traditional climb up the ladder into management. Instead, there might be scope to move people sideways into a new business area or project type. Consider what a change in role will mean for each employee in terms of new skills and salary level – what are the selling points for the employee?
Understand What Makes People Stay
Research is a valuable but overlooked tool for companies looking to keep their employees. While it’s important to learn why people want to leave their jobs, it’s more important to get to grips with the reasons they want to stay. Putting a positive spin on things helps you to focus better and make the working environment better.
Survey your current employees quarterly and annually to confirm what they’re happy with and what you need to address to ensure they stay for the long term. When performing exit interviews with employees, make notes on why they’re leaving and what would have helped them to stay put.
Back-End Developers in Kent and Birmingham might have a slightly different set of non-negotiables when looking for a job compared to those based in London, for example. You might find older Millennial workers are more interested in job flexibility than Gen Z – or vice versa. Noting these differences, think about how you can tailor various retention initiatives to each employee.
Retaining talent is an ongoing challenge for most organisations. While market forces certainly add to retention pressures, these practical steps can help you address the most common issues that drive staff turnover.
Of course, a technology recruitment agency can help you solve a major part of the retention puzzle – by helping you recruit the right people in the first place! At Movement8, we connect employers with an ever-growing network of Tech talent in London, Kent, Birmingham and throughout the UK and Europe. Get in touch with us today to level up your retention and hiring strategies.