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THE STAFF RETENTION CONUNDRUM!

Monday 15th October 2018

In this blog our .Net specialist Sam, discusses some of the challenges facing hiring managers in the tech sector when it comes to retaining their best talent. Have a read below...

One of the biggest challenges facing IT and Development teams and their managers is hiring of the right talent for their requirements. Due to the candidate-driven nature of the market there’s ultra-competition between organisations. 

Such is the pace of technology and IT, no sooner has the ‘hottest project on the market’ appeared in Company A. Company B have taken on something even more modern or interesting. The evolution often means there is something ‘better’ to Developers just around the corner, and if they aren’t completely happy with their working environment, the temptation of slightly more money and exposure to more modern tech or IT environments results in employees looking elsewhere for something more suitable.

With such saturation of Development vacancies across the market, developers are never short of opportunity elsewhere if their development environment isn’t ticking all of their boxes. Realistically, it’s difficult (probably impossible) to keep 100% of people happy 100% of the time. There are always going to be personal agendas that allow for opportunities to gain your colleagues’ attention.

There is no silver bullet for this, or a way to keep everybody happy. However, there are certain comments, or reasons that seem to appear on a regular basis when I speak to candidates about their reasons for wanting to leave or look elsewhere. There are a multitude of methods to contributing to keeping your team happy as a manager or Team Lead. Not all are possible together, all of the time. But some, abiding to some of the following actions can and certainly will help.

Be honest: 
All too often, developers I speak to highlight comments that are fed to them to keep them happy. Promises like moving to a more modern tech stack, or promise of a pay rise after X, Y or Z, are short term fixes that (and often) are just off the cuff comments, that are then not followed through with. Be honest with what progression opportunities you can offer your team.

Listen to the team, empathise, and act:
IT teams are often close-knit, with employees talking to each other, discussing potential improvements, which can often circulate before reaching IT Managers and Team Leads. Developers often mention that they feel overlooked when suggesting improvements. This isn’t to say that authority of being at the head of a department or team needs to be undermined, and every request should be granted. But by at least acknowledging problems or suggestions and talking about them, shows that there is absolutely no ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation and the requests of their team are being taken seriously.

Provide training, or ask the question:

Technology is moving at such a speed that Developers can find that they need to learn new skills and up to date training. There’s more to providing training than simply buying licenses and allowing people to become certified. This isn’t as straight forward and alone will not hold too much weight. But when it becomes a case of paying out multiple times a year for replacement developers, or having to pay extra salary to secure a candidate with multiple opportunities, paying for training or licences becomes a much smaller ‘cost’.

These are just three of the main things IT professionals highlight when they speak to me. None of these singularly will necessarily improve the overall morale of a team, but when brought together, paint a much more open and honest working environment, promoting trust and willingness to solve problems, which ultimately contributes towards the ability to retain staff. What are your thoughts?

If you need advice on your next .NET role or help with your current recruitment process, connect with me on LinkedIn here or email me: Sam@amsourcetechnology.com
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