Finding enough talented tech workers is not going to get easier anytime soon. The demand for talent with skills across a range of technologies including mobile app development, UX design, AI/robotics/machine learning, IOT, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and full-stack development – is only going to get more intense. Organizations that continuously assess and refine their candidate recruiting and retention strategies will have a significant advantage over those that do not.
No doubt, keeping up with the most effective approaches to attracting and retaining the best IT talent can be challenging. The techniques evolve almost as fast (or in some cases, faster) than the technologies new hires are intended to work with. Here are some of the most useful tips we can offer along with our insights on which are proving most effective.
Attracting top talent requires a number of techniques that complement and reinforce each other. There are many proven tactics for attracting talent; here are just a few of our observations and ideas:
Another tip is to keep your eye on emerging HR technology. For example, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), automating recurring and repetitive tasks, offers efficiency improvements across a range of recruiting activities. Onboarding tasks such as updating applicant tracking systems, gathering new employee data and documentation, creating a new payroll entry, even monitoring some aspects of compliance, can now be automated. Also, by embracing new technologies such as RPA you indicate to new employees that you are a dynamic, forward-looking organization – one that should be a more attractive place to work.
So how do you keep your top IT talent when everyone wants them?
If you’re not finding yourself struggling to retain your best IT talent congratulations, you’re doing something right. Although most companies don’t report their turnover rates (the percentage of employees leaving over a given period), estimates of turnover rates for IT workers are thought to be some of the highest of any job sector. One recent analysis found turnover for UX designers at over 23% and software engineers at nearly 22% (the worldwide average for all job types is around 11%).
Estimates of what it costs to replace a salaried employee vary but, as noted earlier, it could average between 6 to 9 months of the employee’s salary. Given how difficult it is to find IT specialists in some fields, the costs in lost productivity when one of those specialists leaves are high. The cost of turnover, not just in the costs of initial recruiting, training and lost productivity, but also in delayed product launches and the additional recruiting and training expenses to replace these employees, totals in the billions of dollars. Additionally, the negative affects to business continuity and the potential loss of intellectual property can have far-reaching consequences. It’s no wonder that employee retention is now garnering so much attention and investment.
As with recruiting, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of keeping your best employees:
One last point about employee retention too important to overlook is practices related to unfairness-based turnover. The Kapor Center for Social Impact and The Harris Poll recently released what they titled “The Tech Leavers Study”. Polling a representative sample size of 2,006 U.S. adults who left a tech job in the last three years, the study found that the number one driver of turnover was unfair treatment by their employer (37% of the sample). Unfairness was characterized by a workplace that tolerated bullying, harassment, promoting less qualified people, crediting employees for work others did, assigning work that was below workers’ capabilities, and generally poor leadership. Employers owe it to their employees and to themselves to create workplaces in which people know they will be treated fairly. Having a reputation as a fair, unbiased workplace will go a long way to helping you attract and retain good workers.
Want more ideas on how you can find and keep good tech talent?
Even the tech giants are struggling with retaining their IT talent. The median tenure at Google and Amazon is only about a year! That doesn’t mean you should be satisfied with similar results. Sometimes, taking a hard look at your recruiting and retention processes can lead to insights that can have far-reaching effects. We can help by evaluating your current processes and offering ideas based on our experience and knowledge of your job market(s).
(Sources: Kapor Center for Social Impact/Harris Poll, SHRM, LinkedIn, Payscale)