Good Help is Hard to Keep: 3 Ways to Make Them Stay

Turnover is notoriously high in IT. With 42 percent of technology professionals jumping ship, it’s no wonder employers are scrambling to find stable candidates. Here are three tips employers can use to hold on to their talent:

Start Early

According to a CareerBuilder webinar, retention today begins before a candidate is hired; it actually starts when a candidates researches your company, and goes through the application and interview process. About 43 percent of professionals say a job description didn’t match the position.

To get in front of these obstacles, be transparent about the company, the job, requirements and expectations.

Gain Insight

For your current employees, pick their brain. Scott Hebner, VP of social business at IBM says this year “we’ll begin to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, why they stay with an organization.” This goes beyond the standard employee survey.

Establish an employment engagement strategy if you don’t already have one. Meet with employees individually and as a group on a regular basis. This will help you understand problems before they arise and create a culture where feedback is welcome.

Take Action

According to this Deloitte report, the main reason employees quit is because of their direct boss. Secondary reasons include better pay, opportunities for growth and being recognized for their efforts, according to CareerBuilder. So, as an employer, what can you do about it?

Let’s start with something simple: praise. Signs of appreciation – from verbal recognition to earning rewards for a job well done – can motivate employees and help with retention.

Professional development is also important. When employees are not challenged or learning something new, they become disengaged with their current role and start looking elsewhere to fill this void. Even when a promotion is not an option, there are creative ways to keep employees enthusiastic. Giving your people access to industry conferences, relevant courses and the ability to work on different projects can be what makes them stick around.

Finally, we land on the topic of money. 88 percent of workers say increasing salaries is the best way to boost retention. You may have to pony up the dough to keep your top performers happily working for you. If your budget doesn’t allow for bonuses and/or raises, talk to your employees and find out if there are other perks that would compensate for the lack of pay. Perhaps beefing up your benefits package or offering flexible schedules would suffice. In the end, if your compensation package is not competitive, you may just have to take the loss.

Do you think employee retention is an issue? How do you keep talent in-house? Share your comments below.