Top Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Best Tech Talent

Ross Bartram

Tech recruitment is back with a bang, with many companies reporting their hiring rates are equal to or beyond pre-pandemic rates. Combine that with a talent shortage for qualified, experienced tech specialists and you have a recruitment war on your hands. And it’s not only new hires you’ll be competing for  – it’s your current staff as well.

Experts are predicting a strong focus on recruitment related to digital transformation projects in 2022, while Data Engineers and Machine Learning Engineers are consistently listed as some of the most in-demand roles in the UK.

So what better time is there to review your employee retention strategy to ensure it is fit for purpose? The Great Resignation is underway, and the onus is now on employers to demonstrate reasons for staff to stay in their jobs.

Here are our top tips for how to improve employee retention and keep top talent on your payroll.

1. Ask the Right Questions

A new phenomenon has emerged in recent times to help reduce employee attrition – the stay interview. Using a similar format to an exit interview, the stay interview is all about identifying ways to support employees with their future development and provide reasons for them to grow within their existing company. More importantly, it shows the employee that they’re valued and that their employer is listening to them.

Ideally, this would form part of an overarching progression plan but sometimes development gets confused with training, and before you know it your best Software Engineer is jumping ship because of their long-held desire to work on a specific type of project.

The best part about the stay interview is never having regrets – from either the employee or the employer. If the staff member is asked what will keep them with the organisation in the long run, and they lay out their terms openly and honestly, there’s no risk of thinking “if only”. The flip side is that as an employer, you now have all of the information needed to retain that staff member – it’s up to you if you enact it.

2. Review Rewards and Benefits

It’s no surprise that the war on talent will trigger a rise in rewards and benefits being offered to prospective employees. But it’s important to remember to reward and recognise your existing staff members as well.

Monetary rewards are no longer enough, so an annual pay rise is not going to do the trick. While retention bonuses are becoming more commonplace, employees are interested in perks that impact their lifestyles such as flexible working arrangements, wellbeing strategies and learning and development practices.

In 2021, Google said it is moving towards a hybrid office and home work model, and expects 20% of its workforce will be working from home, while Salesforce President & Chief People Officer Brent Hyder declaredthe 9-to-5 workday is dead”. He also stated that “the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.”

It’s worth noting that some of the highest-paying tech jobs are increasingly offered as remote positions, including Software Engineers, Product Managers, and Project Managers.

3. Promote a Commitment to ESG

Businesses are acknowledging that their public commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is vital when attracting new staff. With many employees wanting to work for organisations linked to a purpose – particularly Millenials and Gen Z – it’s important to ensure policies and strategies are shared with existing employees too.

Be careful that these are not just paying lip service, but are genuine pledges that are supported by leadership and filtered down to the rest of the organisation. By 2025, millennials may comprise up to 75% of the world’s workforce, so it’s time to start focussing on more than just the bottom line if you want to keep these workers.

4. Focus on Open Communication

Now more than ever, a culture of open communication is going to be the lynchpin of employee engagement and retention. If you’re looking for the shortest piece of advice on how to improve employee retention, it’s this one: do all you can to improve communication across all levels.

With drastic changes to how we view the traditional “workplace”, and the rise in remote and hybrid working, internal communications need to be paramount. Existing communication channels and methods may need to be reviewed to ensure silos aren’t built based on departments, projects or location.

Most importantly, remember that communication is two-way and it’s essential for businesses to act on the insights they receive. If you’re receiving negative feedback from several employees about the same issue, that’s a clue to take action. Conversely, employees might want to see more of something they like – so do more of what makes them happy!


With employees having the upper hand when choosing new roles and companies to join, a strong retention strategy is just as essential as good recruitment. After all, keeping your employees happy and engaged reduces the risk of losing talent to your competitors.

Looking for more advice on how to recruit and keep the best tech talent? Your best bet is chatting to an experienced, specialist IT recruitment agency. Our expert team consults clients across the UK for a range of tech roles. Get in touch with us today!