With around two-thirds of digital companies currently struggling to find the talent they need, employee retention is clearly more important than ever.  

But keeping hold of your best people is not so easy to do, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic. Surveys have found that around 80% of digital leaders are finding retention more challenging, due to new life priorities among their staff. What’s more, 40% are losing employees to better paid positions.  

In the tech industry in particular, counteroffers are prevalent – along with poaching and headhunting by rival firms. 

This puts employers in an extremely tricky position. Do they shell out for higher salaries, give in to counteroffer demands and bump up bonuses – all to cling on to the best tech talent?  

Not every organisation can afford to keep up with rival firms on salaries, and there is evidence to suggest that ‘buy back’ (where a resigning employee is persuaded to stay with a boosted salary package) even works. In fact, research from the legal sector shows that a huge 70% of employees who accept counter offers from their existing employer leave within just six months.  

How to avoid expensive counteroffers  

Ideally, employers should take action on talent retention well before a dissatisfied employee starts to draft their resignation letter. If you’re trying to persuade someone to stay simply by throwing more money at them, you’ve clearly reached the last resort stage.  

So, what can tech firms do to prevent talent leaving in the first place? Here are some key areas to focus on: 

  • Laying out exciting new career and personal development plans for each individual, and regularly checking in with progress. 
  • Implementing reward schemes to incentivise success. 
  • Opening the lines of communication within the business, so that employees feel listened to and that their opinions count. 
  • Taking a close look at your company’s vision, values and culture. Address anything that needs improvement, and communicate the changes across the whole of the organisation. This isn’t something that can be done overnight, and it’s important to involve your workforce in this important work.  
  • Looking at benefits packages and other perks that can make your organisation a more attractive place to work.  

It’s also important to react the right way if one of your best people indicates that they want to leave. This is a valuable opportunity to understand their motivations for leaving. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not all about money, at least not completely.  

The employee may crave more challenging or interesting work, a different business culture or greater recognition of their skills and contribution. They may be dissatisfied with a line manager or want better career development opportunities. 

 And of course, they may simply be looking for more attractive remuneration and benefits. Even if this particular employee does end up leaving, at least you’ll now how crucial insights into the underlying reasons why it happened – so you can prevent it happening again.  

Looking to hire, or searching for a new role in tech? Get in touch with our tech talent recruitment specialists here at Fairmont Recruitment.  

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