17 Oct 3 Strategies for Retaining High-Value Talent in IT
These are the strategies top CIOs are using to hang on to the best technicians in the industry.
It takes a whole lot of time and money to recruit qualified employees in our industry. Having put in the effort to hire exceptional people, can you really afford to let them slip through your fingers?
Recently, Robert Half Technology put out their analysis of the results from a survey of over 2,500 chief information officers in the United States. Of those respondents, nearly two-thirds would agree that recruiting IT professionals is a significant challenge. Just over half of these leaders indicate serious concern about their ability to retain talent.
86% of the CIOs surveyed said that they actively work to retain their employees. Here are top three strategies they found to bring them the most success.
Monitoring Personal Fulfillment (69% of respondents)
Your employees may spend their days working with hardware, but that doesn’t mean they themselves are machines. The IT managers who manage to retain talented personnel are those who spend time making sure their people are happy and personally fulfilled.
The old saying is well-worn but true: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Are you taking the time to listen to your employees? Are you putting their best skills to use in the areas in which they excel? Do they know you care about seeing them do their best work; not simply for the sake of the company but for their own benefit as well?
Evaluating Performance and Discussing Career Development (68% of respondents)
This second strategy is closely related to the first. Regularly evaluating performance not only keeps employees on track, but it helps you to capitalize on their strengths and weaknesses as well. If you give your people opportunities to find their sweet spot and thrive, you’ll keep them engaged and fulfilled while simultaneously increasing your total productivity.
Cultivating your employees strengths with a clear eye to their future career development has been widely recognized to be a powerful retention tool. Taking the time to invest in your employees breeds loyalty across every level of your organization.
Maintaining Competitive Compensation and Benefits (60% of respondents)
Unfortunately, personal fulfillment and organizational loyalty don’t put food on the table. If you won’t pay your people what they can expect to get out on the open market, you’re going to lose them to someone else who will. By regularly benchmarking standard compensation rates, successful leaders in IT know how to keep their employees well fed.
Smart CIOs apply this strategy both externally and internally. While it’s critical to make sure you’re paying your best technicians a competitive wage, it’s even more important to ensure the junior level employees aren’t consistently out-earning their senior colleagues. If you have any doubts about the destructive nature of that scenario, take a look at the talent woes caused by the former surge in acquihires at places like Yahoo!
Money isn’t everything, however. There are other benefits you can use to retain high quality talent. Besides the usual suspects (health insurance, vacation, etc.), think outside the box. Giving your employees the ability to telecommute has become a standard benefit for many of the businesses in our industry.
At the end of the day, retaining talent is about taking care of people. Take the time to listen to your employees and fulfill their needs. Build a connection that runs deeper than a work-for-hire arrangement. If your people feel well-respected and are being compensated appropriately for their contribution to the company, they’ll stick with you for a long, long time.