Business leaders are already well aware of how competitive the job market has become. The best talent is often difficult to find, attract, and retain. Nowhere is that truer than the tech sector, where top developers have average employment tenures which range from several months to several years. Why is there such a wide range? They’re searching for the right fit and often discover it with startups. But regardless of your business, there are ways to retain your developer staff.
Why Devs Don’t Stick Around
CIO shared exactly how these upstart businesses successfully lure and secure developers: “For startups, technical skills aren’t the most important hiring criteria. Startups are built on small teams so hiring someone who fits well into the company culture can be more important [there] than a larger organization.” Startups can overcome salary disadvantages with a powerful concoction of a strong culture, flexible time, remote work, and complex challenges, all of which entice brilliant minds.
And sometimes developers leave because of the allure of greener pastures. New York City is likely one of the most competitive job markets in the world, and the tech sector is flourishing because of it. As the city intertwines itself with the tech sector, it’s becoming the second headquarters of the industry (after Silicon Valley). The three original verticals — fintech, adtech, and media — remain extremely healthy. Newer frontiers include healthcare, real estate, and nonprofits. That’s big news for technology companies vying for more market share.
Keep Your Talent On Staff
That brings us back to the objective at hand: finding and retaining top development talent. Differential, a boutique digital agency, weighed in on why developers leave and the best ways to keep them. “The cost of losing a skilled developer can be enormous. The gap of knowledge and hit in productivity from losing an employee can majorly disrupt project timelines and budget, and can also take a toll on organizational culture.” Most companies cannot afford to suffer from serial attrition, especially when it’s an exodus of coveted contributors.
That’s why proactive measures can help retain talent. First and foremost, remember the centrality of challenging work — it won’t be possible to motivate developers without meaningful work regardless of salary. In other words, employers should make sure their developers don’t always feel like they’re engaging in “grunt work”. Letting developers feel like they’re putting their skills to proper use, combined with alternative incentives such as React training in New York or tuition reimbursement programs, can both challenge developers and reinforce a culture of continuous learning. This is essential to adapting in a dynamic marketplace. Anything leadership can do to compel a growth mindset is a serious boon.
Respect Your Team
At the end of the day, it’s worth recognizing that human resources (i.e. people) are assets who ought to be cultivated rather than exploited. Mutual respect is paramount and shouldn’t be feigned. It’s crucial that business leaders only undertake initiatives they’re prepared to support entirely. Half-baked measures can quickly backfire and undermine the original intention. Suffice it to say that there is a paradigm shift unfolding in the global economy.
There are lots of other ways to improve the employee experience. Everything from transparent communication and celebrating small wins to removing barriers and hiring for increased diversity can help. Success is clearly much easier said than done, but that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from the endeavor. More importantly, those pioneers who do realize their goals are likely to be seen as thought leaders by industry communities. That alone could lead to a wide array of exciting opportunities which are otherwise unavailable.