Building a Culture to Retain Technical Talent

Recruiting in the global technology space has brought clarity to our understanding of the wants and needs of technology professionals. It’s no secret that recruiters want to place the best and brightest talent the market has to offer. Quite often, the best and brightest talent are candidates who are gainfully employed. Although these candidates are employed, they often do make the decision to leave and seek out greener pastures. Research by HIRED indicates that a key initial factor that influences candidates moving from one employer to another is an increase in salary. These candidates stay not because of salary, but because of the culture that is built.

When we source these candidates, they’re already immersed in exciting organizations that have drummed up all the latest ‘high-profile’ perks – an on-site gym, a cool snack bar (or warm if that’s what you prefer), ping-pong tables, even ‘unlimited vacation’! These are but a few of the ‘perks’ offered to the world’s most talented IT professionals. But these perks aren’t enough to retain staff, and there’s a very simple rationale for this: they are superficial and are a ‘nice to have’. It’s not to say that these perks won’t entice someone to join a new team (just like salary, as mentioned earlier), but it is to say that more work is required once the candidate is on-boarded.

It Starts at the Top – Are You Built for Leadership?

As start-up entrepreneurs, you’ll need to recognize that all momentum in your business begins with you. Perks aside, the most important and value-laden quality your start-up can offer technology staff is an open-door policy to the company leadership. Emphasizing your availability to your team – and indeed, making it a company mandate that all company leadership is readily available – is a very powerful way to not only ‘pitch’ to future employees, but also to retain present technical talent as well.

Your physical assets – the ping pong table, the on-site gym, the ‘unlimited vacation’ – are important, but they don’t usurp the importance of leadership.

Give Back to the Community

According to recent surveys, giving back to the community is a company trait that is valued by nearly
80% of full-time, permanent employees. The old adage of ‘work hard, play hard’ might as well read ‘work hard, give back to others.’ As a start-up business founder or executive, you should take note of this! There’s a positive correlation between your willingness to engage positively with the community, and your ability to retain your most talented staff.

Don’t be afraid to ask your team how they want to give back, too. Get insight as to what’s important to your staff and build your corporate-social strategy around the values your team has. This is not only good for company morale, but it’s also a great way to begin developing an inspiring company culture.

Don’t Emphasize ‘Remote Work’ – Emphasize ‘Flex-Work’

Recent surveys have shown that as few as 14% of technology staff value ‘work from home’ options. Yet most start-ups build a recruitment strategy focused on ‘remote’ possibilities. At most, ‘work from home’ is a nice to have in today’s competitive hiring climate. The winning variable that helps you retain candidates is offering flexible working hours. Research by the Harvard Business Review shows that over 95% of current employees value flexibility, and yet less than half of businesses offer any resembling ‘flexibility.’

Career Advancement Opportunities

Researchers have overwhelmingly concluded that businesses that offer opportunities for advancement – whether that means tuition reimbursement, full-tuition coverage, or a pathway to promotion – is a variable that can count for a lot with your staff. Candidates will even be willing to take a pay-cut for these advancement opportunities!

At ITS Global, we specialize in workforce management consulting. Our clients rely on us to effectively implement a talent acquisition program that will allow them to scale their growth and be a success. Let’s meet to discuss further – coffees on us! You can reach out to us at 416-689-4653 or email Ross Cadastre at [email protected] to schedule a confidential free meeting today

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