The demand for IT talent has been skyrocketing for years. Unless you are Mark Zuckerberg, you’re going to have to fight fiercely for tech professionals. Here’s what you can do to bring your turnover down and improve IT talent retention.
“Instead of just focusing on what our IT employees can do for us, we focus on what we can do for them.” These are the words of the former Head of IT at LinkedIn, Craig Williams. He seems correct, as the demand for tech skills outstrips the supply of talent in the market, and the turnover among IT specialists is higher than in other industries.
A report by TEKsystems showed that only 9% of IT managers and 12% of IT professionals expect employees to stay with their employer for more than five years. 59% of respondents would move to another city if they were paid more, and half would do so even without a raise.
With the average cost of hiring a new employee being $4,129 and the average time to fill a job opening being 42 days, companies should have a retention plan in place. But why is it so hard to retain IT talent in the first place?
The reasons for turnover
Recent LinkedIn Jobs Switchers Report shows that the top reasons IT professionals leave their jobs are:
- concern about lack of opportunities and career growth
- dissatisfaction with the work environment
- weak senior management leadership
- lack of challenges
- unfair compensation
“If you take the market-level perspective, you might see the general trends for turnover: salary, management, and lack of career path. It doesn’t mean, however, that they will apply to your company,” comments Daniel Aduszkiewicz, CEO and Co-Founder of Human Panel. “You can be 5 or 20 percent above the market benchmark with salaries and still lose people,” Daniel adds.
A serious challenge is that turnover leads to more turnover, as employees leave because they are frustrated with an ever-changing work environment. In addition, the cost of attrition for IT talent is generally higher than for other employees due to the scarcity of skills in the market and a more prolonged recruitment period.
How can IT employees be retained?
“You may be disappointed, but there is no magic bullet that would solve everything,” says Daniel Aduszkiewicz. Some tactics might work, but first, you need to identify the problem in your organization. Then you can start thinking about implementing a people analytics solution, such as one offered by Human Panel – an all-in-one platform for HR management that organizes all your workforce data in one place. Simple graphs and visualized statistics replace obscure spreadsheets and help you make informed HR decisions. To see how it works, sign up for a free demo – just fill in the short form below.
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General strategies for improving employee retention include:
- providing learning and training opportunities
- creating a clear path for advancement and career opportunities
- making work meaningful
- greater work flexibility
- better compensation and benefits
To see what works for your business, you need to look at data. Don’t try out all possible solutions one by one because you’ll waste your time and money.
“To create a successful retention plan for your company, you need to ask the right questions and dig deeper. Maybe there’s a problem with the way your leaders set goals? Maybe there’s too much pressure on people?” asks Daniel.
He points out that there is a way to find out what makes skilled professionals join your company and why they leave. However, don’t expect a magic formula to make your company more attractive to IT talent. That’s a whole different story – and your job as an HR leader.