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5 strategies to retain your top tech talent amid the great reshuffle 1

5 strategies to retain your top tech talent amid the great reshuffle

Modern employees are a unique tribe – they know what they want and aren’t willing to compromise on the essentials. Read on to find ideas on retaining your workforce amidst the talent war.

With digital frameworks and operation models becoming cornerstones of modern businesses, the demand for tech talent has never been higher. So much so that there’s a supply shortage with the unemployment rate for tech jobs being just 1.7%. This gap between supply and demand, while promising for employees, makes retention a #1 priority for all companies. 

Unfortunately, attrition rates have soared as a result of the talent shortage and retaining employees has become tricky. There are several contributing factors at play here, such as burnout, automation, and inflation in wages. Bigger corporations have more money to throw at problems, but the lure of a bigger paycheck simply doesn’t enjoy the shine it used to.

Modern employees are a unique tribe – they know what they want and aren’t willing to compromise on the essentials. Be it the right culture or flexibility provisions, these individuals prioritize holistic development. This is good news for companies looking to retain talent as it means that a targeted focus on employee value proposition (EVP) can be the key.

Viable strategies for talent retention

Leverage automation in HR practices

As a result of the pandemic and the hurdles it put workforces through, a survey in 2021 found that employee engagement took a nasty hit. 40% of firms noticed this negative impact, which meant nothing good for retention. At such a juncture, re-engagement can take many forms and communication rests at the heart of it all. But how companies communicate is just as important. 

With the rise of digitalization and automation in workplaces, companies may be tempted to optimize HR practices with these technologies. While this can work in some cases, engaging the existing workforce may require a more personalized approach. Automation has definitely improved HR processes, and modern applications such as chatbots play an instrumental role in assessing employee performance and sentiment. Companies would do well to institute such provisions wherever possible, while also sprinkling in the human element wherever possible. 

Make career development a key pillar of operations 

Tech talent is constantly looking for avenues that help them address skill gaps and most look to their employer to build them. Studies have found that a lack of learning and upskilling opportunities is a critical proponent of attrition. In fact, about 40% of employees will quit jobs in the first year if training isn’t prioritized. This is a very alarming finding, especially in the current landscape where attracting capable and skilled talent is a herculean task. Moreover, companies should look at career development as a way to help employees attain their personal development goals. 

For many, a job title that ranks higher on the corporate ladder means little in comparison to the progress they experience in learning new skills. The benefits here extend beyond their ability to do better work and take on more responsibility. It actually builds their confidence, and this is an invaluable trait to have in any employee. For most tech companies, the following approaches can work wonders.

  • Invest in bootcamps that offer specialized, skill-based certifications 
  • Develop project management skills
  • Focus on developing in-demand skills: 
    • Cloud computing
    • Cybersecurity
    • AR and VR
    • AI and ML
    • Blockchain

Revise benefits periodically to be in tune with modern-day standards

Wages are just one half of the remuneration equation and the perks offered are just as important, if not more. For long, it was the consensus that perks were the incentives deployed when budgeting restraints cut into wages. While it may have worked in the early 2000s, modern tech talent is after the whole package. 

In fact, these individuals will choose flexible hours or remote working, for instance, over a pay hike. Moreover, data from a report found that about 37% of the surveyed employees said they would take a 10% pay cut if it meant they could work remotely. All this indicates is that today’s tech talent wants their needs met, and in doing so companies could see better retention numbers. Some of the top benefits that companies must consider adding to their policies include telehealth, mental wellbeing provisions, comprehensive healthcare, and educational initiatives. 

Another interesting one to consider is unlimited PTO. While not actually unlimited, it is built on a good-faith model, wherein employers trust employees to take as much time off as they need to be optimally productive. In fact, in doing so, it was noticed that employees took less time off overall.  

Rethink company culture and infuse it with out-of-the-box models 

Culture propels the company vision and modern employees are attracted to companies that have a defined culture. This is especially true for IT professionals as their professional needs are often different from nontechnical employees. For instance, considering the fact that these individuals generally enjoy higher wages, competition amongst employers is fierce when it comes to attracting talent. As such, more money doesn’t always work as a lure as much as an enabling culture does. Historically, these professionals have prioritized growth and development, seeking out workplaces that focus on employee upskilling and career progression. 

As such, tech startups and MNCs began rethinking their approach to culture in order to stand out. One notable initiative was Google’s 20%-time policy, which paved the way for innovation back in 2004 and is still active to date. The concept is fairly simple, wherein employees were encouraged to spend 20% of their time to work on ideas that would benefit the organization. For employees with innovative passions, a workplace with a culture that spurs innovation is definitely the right fit. Similarly, another unique approach to company culture stems from Google yet again, wherein they celebrate mistakes and even reward failure. For employees, this eliminates the fear of being penalized for exploring their creative sides.  

Promote employees with intent and thought

Offering promotions without careful thought does little to fuel progression or build worthwhile teams. Companies often default to this tactic when employee engagement dips or needs a refresh. The approach also sends the worst message across, which is that employees only matter when the company stands to lose them. A better way to go about is to give promotions the right amount of thought. 

By being an active component of the conversation regarding an employee’s desired career path, HR teams can restructure and tailor roles to better suit employee aspirations. Moreover, in considering specific career paths, responsibilities and aptitudes, employers can showcase that they are listening and are willing to bend, when possible, to enable meaningful growth for worthwhile employees. 

Minimizing attrition requires a dedicated effort and companies ought to look inward to optimize efficiently. For many looking to simply hire and combat the issue, the cost of doing so will soon become a limiting factor. In some cases, something as simple as investing proactively in infrastructure that gains a positive response can do the trick. Contrary to popular belief, tech talent isn’t all that hard to please and all companies need to do is be more attentive. For this level of targeted talent management, a viable solution is to partner with Talent500

Our talent management and hiring protocols help Fortune 500 and high-impact startups build, scale, and maintain high-performing teams. Among our key features are the best-in-market L&D activities on offer, designed to improve engagement and reduce attrition. To know more about our services, schedule a consultation

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Monica Jamwal

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