Software Development Outsourcing Hub

Getting and Retaining Top Talent: An Ultimate Guide

January 19, 2024

It’s not just frustrating when you lose your best talent to a competitor. In some cases, turnover can destabilize your IT team and delay product development. It’s also extremely expensive for tech positions, costing an average of $30,000 per role. 

The demand for tech talent is at an all-time high. Today HR managers cite hiring IT employees as their greatest challenge. That’s why it’s crucial to build a talent management strategy tailored to tech workers. 

Here our experts at Netcorp have brought together innovative talent strategies. Succeed at attracting and retaining the best talent for your business with our tips.

Understanding the Dynamics of Retaining Top Talent

The competition for tech talent today is fierce. Estimates suggest a shortage of 85 million tech employees worldwide by 2030. In this market, it’s difficult to attract and keep the best developers. 

The tech industry has one of the highest turnover rates at 21.3%. Even so, there are still a lot of strategies available to improve retention. If your business is struggling to hold onto top performers, reimagine talent management. 

Overall, elite developers don’t just want more money. In fact, their job benefits wishlist may look much different than you expect. Some key items that IT workers desperately want include:

•    Flexible schedules

•    A fantastic company culture

•    Meaningful work

•    Career advancement opportunities

•    … and more!

In short, you should consider the culture, benefits and opportunities for IT workers. This is especially true if they’re in-house or long-term outsourcing experts. Below, we’ll go in-depth into the most in-demand areas to boost recruitment and retain top talent. 

Strategies for Acquiring Top Talent

The competition for first-rate talent is fierce. Let’s go over how to tailor your company’s recruitment and hiring to your advantage. 

1. Effective Recruitment and Selection

Great retention starts with the recruitment process. It’s vital to hire the right developers for your team, even if it takes longer. 

By defining a company-specific recruitment strategy, you can determine employee fit. Ask honest behavioral questions during the interview. Include a “culture experience test” that involves candidates spending time with the team. And check for long-term commitment by undergoing a trial project. 

2. Thoughtful Non-Monetary Benefits

Attracting the best IT talent isn’t just about compensation. In fact, non-monetary benefits can move the needle for many developers.

The #1 benefit that developers desire is flexible hours and vacation time. For this reason, it’s worth encouraging a strong work-life balance at your company. Some other valuable benefits include wellness programs, parental leave, stock packages, etc. 

3. A Positive Work Culture

62% of employees left their jobs because of a toxic company culture. Having a positive work culture can make a huge impression on candidates. In particular, this is the case because developers tend to suffer from stress and burnout. 

Create a “culture budget” to help improve your workplace. Ideally, try to generate a people-first environment that’s fun and engaging. Candidates will feel this energy in the interview and by talking to employees. 

4. Meaning and Purpose

The best developers want to feel like their work matters. In fact, 54% of IT professionals cite meaningful work as the reason they’re drawn to a new job. During recruitment, focus on your company’s mission and highlight interesting projects. 

5. Competitive Compensation Packages

Of course, you can’t ignore the importance of compensation to appeal to top talent. While you’ll need to stay competitive with salary ranges, don’t forget about the full job package. Developers may place a higher value on excellent benefits over money in hand. Be creative and customize the offer according to the individual candidate. 

Strategies for Retaining Top Talent

Once you’ve hired elite talent, the hard part begins. Here are key strategies to keep your best and brightest. 

1. Quality-of-Life Work Options

95% of employees wish to create their own schedules. You can improve retention rates by bolstering flexible work. Set expectations for core vs. flexible hours, so your developers can build their own hours. Some companies even go the extra mile and offer a 4-day workweek or other arrangements.  

In this vein, you should also look at how to improve quality-of-life for your IT team. Too often developers are overworked, so commit to protecting their time. Forbid emails on nights/weekends, allow for personal days and grant wellness benefits (such as yoga, counseling, etc.). 

2. Ongoing Educational Opportunities

What’s more, developers are keen to improve their skills and opportunities. Offer a monthly Learning & Development budget so they can get certifications, training, etc.

Don’t forget about tailoring on-the-job learning opportunities as well. Set up a mentorship program and give regular feedback to improve learning. Even allowing new experiences such as job shadowing can enrich their day-to-day. 

3. Career Paths and Advancement

Career growth is the #1 most-cited factor for job seekers. A whopping 97% of tech workers said career advancement was key to the decision to stay at their current job. 

Create a tailored career path for each developer, including learning and growth opportunities. Traditional advancement may involve leadership and internal promotions, but don’t stop there. 

You should also encourage passion projects, industry conferences and more. Google calls this the “20% rule.” Employees are allowed to spend 20% of their time on any projects, events, etc. they deem worthwhile. That said, you don’t have to be a tech giant to offer career growth. The IT company Paragus had success in customizing career paths for each employee. 

4. Regular Recognition for Performance

Companies often think that recognition of performance means bonuses. Yet that’s just one way you can succeed at rewarding hard work and retaining top talent. 

After wrapping up a large project, you might offer extra days off for developers to recharge. You might also recognize their efforts on your internal threads, Slack channels and so on. Show gratitude and make it clear that their work doesn’t go unnoticed. 

5. On-Point Feedback

Most developers want to feel like they’re moving forward in their careers. Be attentive to your employees by offering regular feedback. This can be extremely constructive for young programmers and make them feel seen. 

Ignoring feedback may lead to developers feeling isolated and confused about their role. Put feedback cycles on the calendar for your managers/leaders, so that there’s a clear schedule. 

6. Autonomy and Ownership

Micromanagement can also put a damper on developers’ daily experience. Instead, try to inspire a sense of autonomy and ownership on your IT teams. Trusting your employees to do their jobs makes them feel valued and engaged. Studies even show that more autonomy results in higher job satisfaction.

Effective communication in outsourcing is the key for this to work well. Work closely with your developers to set milestones. However, give them the freedom to choose deadlines and processes. Over time, this will lead to a greater sense of ownership overall.

7. Employee Engagement

Workplace engagement is essential to keeping developers happy and motivated. In fact, having an engaged team can result in up to a 43% positive difference in turnover and 14% in productivity

To that end, focus on keeping your employees connected. Don’t forget that this starts during the onboarding process. You’ll want to build a virtual workplace where employees can connect. In addition, plan for team building, wellness programs, company events and more. 

8. Better Management and Leadership

Leadership can also make or break whether a developer chooses to stay. Studies suggest that 24% of employees cite caring leaders as a top factor in a job. 

Employees who are dissatisfied with their managers may be quick to look for other work. Pay close attention to your outsourcing management and ensure you have the right leaders in place. This can make a huge difference in your developers' day-to-day experiences. 

9. Employee Insights and Data

Analytics are critical to understanding why your employees stay or go. Conduct regular surveys and exit interviews to collect data. This information will help you get to the root of any problems and meet your employees’ pain points. Usually this helps reduce major disruptions such as internal resistance while software outsourcing as well. 

Some companies are even leveraging AI to help with talent management. You might try using these tools to glean more insights about why and when turnover happens. Whatever tools you choose to use, be sure to collect and analyze the data available. Doing so will help you predict and mitigate turnover, ultimately retaining top talent. 

Focus on Retaining Top Talent With Netcorp

Retaining top talent in the IT industry is tough. To meet today’s market, you must adopt a more comprehensive approach to talent management. Try our expert-backed strategies to significantly improve your workplace and reduce turnover. 

As you boost your company culture, lean on the expertise of an elite IT partner. At Netcorp, we utilize the latest methods in talent management to build strong teams. Contact us to get to know our developers and their long-term commitment to your success.

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member

Paavo Pauklin is a renowned consultant and thought leader in software development outsourcing with a decade of experience. Authoring dozens of insightful blog posts and the guidebook "How to Succeed with Software Development Outsourcing," he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paavo hosts two influential video podcasts: “Everybody needs developers” and “Tech explained to managers in 3 minutes.” Through his extensive training sessions with organizations such as the Finnish Association of Software Companies and Estonian IT Companies Association, he's helped numerous businesses strategize, train internal teams, and find dependable outsourcing partners. His expertise offers a reliable compass for anyone navigating the world of software outsourcing.

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