American employees are disengaged and millions are looking for a new job. As a number of IT companies are beginning to discover, the sector isn’t immune. With low levels of unemployment and a scarcity of available talent, employers can’t afford to assume their top performers are satisfied in their work.
To put it into perspective, one third of IT professionals are planning to find a new job this year.
SkyWater has a track record of successful placements in the IT sector. Here are some of the most common reasons that our tech candidates give for wanting to leave their current employment:
- Low or inadequate compensation that fails to reflect either the responsibility of the job or compete with the current market rate.
- No opportunity to learn new skills or on-the-job training.
- Lack of opportunities for promotion.
- The need for a new challenge that will allow them to fulfill their potential.
- Poor culture and company leadership, for example, lack of communication, absent managers and no recognition of or rewards for high achievers.
Creating a positive culture
Creating a positive working environment where employees can share their views and contribute ideas is vital to avoid an exodus of talent from your organization. When was the last time you sought out the opinions of the key members of your team? What’s frustrating them? Where are their challenges? What are their career objectives? It’s not too late to begin listening but it needs to happen now.
Successful talent retention requires action too. Acknowledge the issues raised by your team and most importantly your part in it. Work with your staff to develop a plan of action to address all of their concerns.
Signs your employees are on the move
Understanding the signs of a disenchanted employee will enable you to take preventive action. These include:
- Deteriorating quality of work which may lead to customer complaints or loss of business.
- Unexplained or unusual absences from work (which can indicate an interview). This is often accompanied by professionals showing up at work in smarter attire than usual.
- Lack of attention to detail or interest in ongoing projects.
- Sudden enquiries into potential career development opportunities. A negative or indifferent response from an employer will push them towards the exit.
- Requests for specific project details and results, possibly to use as accomplishments on their resume.
Forget the counter offer
Sometimes it’s too late to prevent your employees from quitting. In our experience, the first reaction of a growing number of companies is to make a counter-offer.
Unless there are mitigating circumstances, the counter offer is a bad idea for a number of reasons:
- If your employee accepts, you know they can be bought.
- Your team will know you can be bought.
- You haven’t resolved the issues that caused them to resign. Chances are, nothing will really change and they’ll be on the job market within six months.
- You’re unlikely to trust them again.
- It’s bad for morale. How are the rest of your team going to feel when they don’t receive a significant pay raise to prevent them from quitting?
Attracting and hiring IT professionals is a challenge in today’s market. Focus on developing and retaining the staff you already have. You’ll find additional advice in our previous article How Effective Is Your Talent Retention Strategy?