Top 5 Retention Strategies for Your IT WorkforcePermanent IT employees are becoming increasingly confident in the state of the job market, quitting their current jobs to explore new opportunities at a rate 48% higher than the 10-year average. It’s a startling statistic for organizations whose permanent IT workforce is vital to their operations and business strategy. This movement of talent is made worse by a lack of loyalty in the growing Millennial generation; PWC reports that just 18% of them expect to stay with their current company for the long term.

Unfortunately, hiring replacements for those who leave is proving vastly difficult, thanks to high demand and a candidate-driven market. Thus, it makes sense to focus on retaining the talent you already have, eliminating – or at least decreasing – the need to hire replacements. IT professionals who are engaged, motivated, and valued are much less likely to start looking for something different. Below, we’ve compiled the best retention strategies for your IT workforce that we’ve seen in action.

1. Evaluate Your Compensation Structure

Hiring someone who’s only in it for the money is a quick recipe for disaster. However, there’s no denying that salary is a major motivator in an IT professional’s career choices. IT salaries are being driven up by demand, and companies must keep up with market rates if they hope to avoid losing talent. This is especially true for professionals who possess the hottest programming language skills or who work in cybersecurity, big data, mobile, and cloud technology. These in-demand skills are some of the highest-paying in the IT industry. Accurate market research is critical but complex. Factors to keep in mind are region, company size, industry, experience, and demand. At MDI Group, we’ve compiled salary data for several markets across the nation. Click here to download your complimentary 2017 IT Compensation & Hiring Guide.

2. Establish Professional Development Opportunities

According to a recent survey, the most popular motivation for professionals seeking a new IT job is the opportunity to advance their technical skills. Your company doesn’t necessarily need to flaunt the hottest technology stacks to make people stay, but you do need to provide your IT employees with skills development opportunities. This is especially true with Millennials, who place high value on life-long learning and professional development. Mentorship or coaching programs, tuition reimbursement, frequent training, cross-functional opportunities and individualized career planning are all avenues of professional development for motivated IT people. Another tactic is to more deeply root your organization’s focus on technology. If IT simply isn’t a priority in your company, tech employees won’t be as passionate about making it their priority either.

3. Prepare to Be More Flexible

When IT is the lifeblood of an organization, it’s not surprising that many IT professionals feel tremendous pressure on the job. In a recent survey, 40% of tech workers reported feeling burnt out in their current jobs and 38% were looking for a better work-life balance in a new opportunity. Refer back to the results of your employee survey to gauge how your own IT people are feeling. If they appear to be under a lot of stress, it’s important to address this sooner rather than later. Solutions vary widely, from nurturing a more positive work environment to providing flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities, or more vacation time. The key is to get in tune with how your employees are feeling, and then make tangible changes to address any challenges.

4. Measure Your Current Engagement Levels

Setting arbitrary goals for improving and sustaining your retention rates is rarely effective. As such, gaining a thorough understanding of the current state of your workforce is crucial. Administering an anonymous employee survey is one of the best ways to gain honest feedback about their satisfaction and engagement. A questionnaire should address the work environment, corporate culture, work-life balance, management style, communication, processes and protocols, professional development, compensation and benefits, and much more. Likewise, it’s a good idea to administer a similar “exit survey” if an employee quits. Understanding why your employees stay – and why they leave – will provide actionable insight and strategic direction for your retention program.

5. Finetune Your Recruitment Strategy

Although a better retention strategy may help you avoid having to hire replacements, the reverse is also true: a better recruitment strategy may also help you achieve greater retention. When you’re hiring the right people, who are culturally and technically aligned with your company and the job requirements, those people are much more likely to be satisfied and stick around for the long run. When you’re hiring for critical IT roles, ensure you’re building an accurate profile and job description; interview carefully and consistently to help you make a more informed decision.

That said, we know how time-intensive the recruitment process can be, especially when you’re under pressure to fill urgent positions. At MDI Group, we’ve built deep local networks of IT professionals, and we’re committed to making best-fit placements.

Learn more about our Direct Hire Services or contact us today to start your search.

Shokie

 

Shokie Banerjee is the Managing Director of MDI Group’s Charlotte and Greenville offices.  If you are interested in learning more about how to attract the best IT talent in Charlotte, contact Shokie directly at sbanerjee@mdigroup.com or call us 888-416-7949.  MDI Group also has offices and specializes in recruiting IT talent in Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Phoenix.