As we’ve discussed previously, finding top tech talent can be a challenge, but here’s the real deal: retaining them is even more difficult. Why? For the same reasons attraction and recruitment are hard — low unemployment rates, shortage of talent coupled with a lot of noise about rational benefits … and very little about the emotional motivators of why top tech talent joins and stays.
Let me introduce you to our top tech talent retention recipe, one rooted in better understanding of the wants and needs of this workforce group that ranges from data scientists and software engineers to front/back-end developers, full-stack and test engineers plus a whole lot more that has been lumped together right here for purposes of this recipe.
Preheat: Do you know your current retention rate? If not, find out so that your recruitment and attraction strategies don’t become part of a revolving door of talent due to retention. Address retention head-on by understanding the insights below.
— Know your audience and what motivates them. Take the time to talk to them regularly and seek what makes them happy. In other words, listen to your current workforce.
— What benefits do they enjoy the most? Take that feedback and rethink your benefits. I bet you’ll find that free lunches and ping-pong tables are great, but not what keeps them at the company.
— Offer workspace flexibility to this audience who sometimes works all hours of the day and night. The ability to telecommute was mentioned by 43% of developers at Digital Ocean as a critical factor when selecting a job. [https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/339437]
— Create an inclusive and diverse work environment/culture. One of my favorite quotes was from a talent acquisition leader at the Grace Hopper Conference, “Diversity of thought is key for innovation.” In the same article mentioned above, it was reported by Randstad US that 78% of workers say an employer’s ability to treat everyone equally is important to them.
— Retrain, upskill and offer continuous learning. In other words, create a culture of learning. Investigate tuition reimbursement right out of college and throughout employment. Some companies have brought training on-site for convenience purposes. Offer recertification programs/courses, too.
— Provide mentorship opportunities to increase loyalty and productivity.
Mix the ingredients above and also be ready to review work-life balance, ask for feedback, rinse and repeat.
Your retention recipe is now ready for baking. Be sure and use this recipe often and update the ingredients as needed.