Why Is It So Hard to Retain Top IT Talent?

Why does the IT field have such a high turnover rate? And how can you work to reduce turnover and increase retention?

Why Is It So Hard to Retain Top IT Talent?
Employee Value Proposition plans may be the way to keep your IT department around for a long time.
Why Is It So Hard to Retain Top IT Talent?
Employee Value Proposition plans may be the way to keep your IT department around for a long time.

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Attrition is a costly issue that has plagued the talent-rich tech industry since 2012. Though the hiring process is costly for any company, it is even more so for the IT industry. The cost of searching, hiring, and training new team members strikes a big blow to a company’s budget. And the truth is, the devastation isn’t confined to the IT department; here, the trickle-down theory holds some weight—the loss of talent and the bringing on of new definitely impacts workload across departments. However, most of the time when professionals leave for better opportunities elsewhere, a business only has itself to blame.

Reasons for Rise in Attrition

High turnover signifies the economy is strong, and tech professionals understand the implications of this—they tend to always have their eyes open when it comes to better opportunities, and source their peers for information about who’s paying what and in which cities. Though the strength of the economy may be up for debate, it has been steadily increasing alongside the rates of attrition.


John Greene is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Advanced AV. Headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Advanced AV has evolved with the advancement of technology into a specialized integrator of professional audiovisual systems for business, education, government, and worship facilities, serving the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.

 

This information, of course, comes as no surprise to those in the field. A TEKsurvey revealed that only 9 percent of IT leaders and 12 percent of IT professionals expect people to stay with their employer for more than five years. Additionally, according to those surveyed 59 percent would move to another city for more money, and 50 percent said they’d move simply to be in a better city, even without an increase in salary. These statistics suggest tech companies need to have a retention plan in place if they want to keep their top talent for the long term.

Tech Companies Need to Have a Strong EVP

Leaders in the tech industry will admit that retention is a problem, but few take the time to improve the situation. An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is the key to lowering attrition rates. Much to their detriment, many companies don’t understand the importance of an EVP to help keep current candidates happy, and attract new, stronger ones. Sadly, many employers make no effort to develop time-in-job projections and many companies lack the infrastructure to extend or replace skill sets.

EVP will not benefit a company if the company does not define and promote their offerings. What are some ideal EVPs companies should include in their roster of benefits?

  • Compensation
  • Benefit packages
  • Vacation time
  • Work-life balance
  • Professional development
  • Continuing education
  • Company equity
  • Career path progressing
  • Succession planning
  • Company culture

Unsurprisingly, another discovery from the TEKsurvey mentioned above revealed compensation remains the biggest factor in determining employee satisfaction (87 percent), but, money isn’t the only thing employees are looking for more of. Having a few or all of the above items will improve attrition for most companies, as long as tech leaders know how to promote them during interviews and staff evaluation meetings.

Interestingly, while nearly 80 percent of IT leaders polled reported having an in-house program dedicated to educating IT employees about corporate benefits, only 38 percent of the IT staffers asked agreed with this statement. Similarly, while 71 percent of IT leaders were aware of flexible and/or alternative scheduling options, but only 31 percent of IT workers recognized those as possible perks. These are big gaps, and speak to the fact that while certain incentives might be in place in order to keep team members happy and content - the team members themselves aren’t able to reap those benefits. It’s no wonder costly employee churn rates keep climbing.

How Businesses Can Contain Top Talent

Businesses have to be proactive to retain the top talent in their IT pool. Here’s why an EVP program is crucial. Think your teams are happy and satisfied with their current jobs? Do you feel like your compensation packages are some of the best in the business? Well, that’s all well and good, but an astonishing 80 percent of IT professionals revealed that they are keen to hear about new job opportunities, even when they are happily employed.

Compensation remains the highest motivator, therefore companies must keep salaries competitive. And a solid EVP that is well communicated is a company’s second best line of defense. Organizations who don’t have a solid EVP—and who aren’t willing to put resources towards creating one—will need to devise ways to manage productivity and increase morale or face constant turnover, and reductions in corporate productivity.




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