The technology industry suffers the most when it comes to attrition.
As we saw in a recent blog, LinkedIn’s analysis of half a billion professionals found that tech industry attrition is the highest, followed by retail, media and professional services.
What makes the tech industry vulnerable to high turnover rates?
A number of sources highlight that the US technology industry has a talent shortage problem. Like other industries, this is no doubt compounded by the fact that the unemployment rate in the US fell to 3.6% earlier in 2019 – the lowest it has been since December 1969.
Although a healthy job market is positive, this does also expose employers to a greater risk of losing competitors offering higher salaries, better benefits and more enticing company cultures.
Tech industry attrition is being driven by increasing demand and the correlating increase in compensation. We know that data analysts, UX designers and software engineers are in extremely high demand, with embedded software engineers receiving the most InMails per person in North America.
Boost your retention strategy with these steps
To fight attrition in the tech industry, companies need a well-thought-out retention strategy in place. And to enhance effectiveness, consider including these five steps in your plan:
1. Recruit with retention in mind
An effective retention strategy spans the employee lifecycle, including the attraction and recruitment phases. The type of culture you build and the reputation you establish goes a long way in attracting high performers – we’ll talk about this more in a moment.
When it comes to the recruiting phase, it’s important to identify candidates that would be a good fit in terms of your culture and organizational objectives. Approaching recruitment this way helps to set you and your new hires up for success.
Considering the high demand for employees in tech, you should also conduct thorough research into market-related salaries to ensure that you’re offering fair salaries. Having said that, it’s not all about attractive pay, and we’ll discuss the other ways that you can boost retention among tech employees below (which are particularly valuable strategies if you can’t quite compete with the salaries that tech giants offer employees).
Before we move on, it’s also important to note that your recruitment strategy should lead into an effective integration strategy to enhance retention in the early phases of employment. Remember, integration entails far more than a brief onboarding period – it should ensure that new hires become a part of your organization’s DNA.
2. Provide clear paths for advancement
We recently spoke about the importance of mapping out the opportunities that employees can pursue within your company, and how you can support employees as they put their career plans into action. This is a great way of encouraging tech employees to remain engaged with their work and committed to growing at your company. Read more about how to do so here.
Where there is opportunity to fill roles in your organization, recruiting or promoting from within helps employees advance and take on new responsibilities. This sets the tone that you value your current employees and their contribution to your company, and that you are invested in their development.
Opening up the door to training and learning opportunities also helps employees develop new skills or enhance their competencies. This, likewise, shows that you see potential in employees and want them to be part of your organization for the long run.
Further, since the world of tech is continuously evolving, it’s important for employees that work in this domain to remain proficient and in step with the latest developments. Giving these employees access to resources that help them achieve this – for example, via microlearning – not only helps them but ultimately benefits your company too.
3. Encourage innovation and autonomy
It’s safe to assume that most who work with, design and develop cutting-edge technologies are innovators at heart. These individuals have the vision and creativity to conceptualize solutions that improve processes, save time and automate functions. If they aren’t able to innovate at your organization, you risk losing them to competitors where they would be able to do so.
Whether their innovation forms part of their growth strategy at your company – where they know they’ll eventually be able to step into a role where their creativity can be applied – or whether you encourage them to take on internal gigs, it’s valuable to give these high performers the room to put their unique skills to use.
This approach allows for a level of autonomy, which we know is a key to intrinsic motivation. We’ve said it before, but it’s important enough to mention again: employees who have the freedom to make their own decisions at work tend to be more motivated because they know that they’re responsible for their own success or failure – which drives them to work harder.
4. Create a culture of inclusion
Not only is the technology industry prone to high attrition rates, but there’s another concerning trend at play – and that is the low representation of women in tech. As outlined in one of our recent blogs, women hold only 24% of computing jobs in the US and without intervention, this percentage could decline to 22% by 2025.
Modern employees want to be a part of an inclusive workforce, and this may require efforts to combat a culture of gender discrimination in some cases. This requires transparency and communication at every stage of the employee journey. You can find out more here.
If we look to the top reasons why women left tech, we also see that there is need for strong management support, growth opportunity (reiterating our earlier point) and greater work-life balance. Ensuring that these aspects form part of your organizational culture will go a long way in supporting your employees and encouraging them to remain a part of your company.
Referring back to our first point, it’s also important to note that word on your company culture spreads, and this is particularly the case nowadays with websites like Glassdoor that give insight into the employee experience at a given company. So, it’s essential to ensure that you have an authentic culture – and one that employees want to be a part of – if you’re serious about attracting the right employees and retaining top performers.
5. Stay ahead of the curve with modern HR tools
Regardless of the industry we operate in, we’re largely dependent on technology to perform our duties nowadays. And, particularly in the tech industry, it’s essential to show that your company places value in modern advancements if you’re hoping to attract high performers in the field. Naturally, one of the most convincing ways of doing this is by using sophisticated technology yourself, as an organization.
So, for example, presenting applicants with a clean and elegant recruiting experience, fully branded to your organization, is an impressive showcase of your company’s competitive edge. The same can be said about applications used to manage integration, performance, learning opportunities, and more throughout the employee lifecycle.
If you need more convincing, read our recent blog that outlines five reasons to invest in employee-centric HR technology.
Already convinced? Talk to us and let us assist you in implementing the best tools to attract and retain employees in the tech space.