If you’re a CIO or technology leader operating in the current IT jobs market, research shows that retaining the rare, skilled, and talented people within your IT team is one of your biggest priorities.
Competition is fierce, with Brexit likely to worsen the IT skills shortage in the UK, so organisations are developing a range of interesting new approaches to help them retain the best people and create a stable working environment. In this article, the consultants from Crimson’s IT recruitment agency have shared some of the best ideas they’ve seen in the marketplace.
There are huge differences between being a boss and being a leader. A boss directs and instructs, a leader inspires and guides. There are a few things a good IT leader can do to boost retention. Firstly, communication is key. Forbes recommends that leaders should elicit feedback from employees and then determine how to make improvements to benefit the majority. For example, at Crimson we have built an Employee Engagement committee so junior employees can implement good ideas and have a say about how the business is run.
Another important action for technology leaders to take is to validate individual contributions. Every member of a digital or IT team has unique skills and abilities. However, not everyone is good at highlighting their assets and achievements. It is the IT leader’s the role to ensure their profile is raised and recognised by the rest of the organisation.
In its Tech Survey 2018, Harvey Nash highlighted that subsidised training and skills development plans were huge retention factors for many IT employees. In the age of automation, 95% of survey respondents revealed they were actively developing their skills, to protect their future job security. Almost 40% were not waiting for their employers and were funding this training themselves. As IT recruitment specialists, Crimson’s consultants know that reimbursing and investing in employee development is a great staff attraction and retention strategy.
In 2017, Crimson interviewed attendees of its annual Innovation Conference about their preferred employment benefits. These guests were chiefly made-up of IT decision makers. The top five in order were; a pension contribution over 3%, a death in service benefit, the option to work from home, an annual performance bonus, and medical insurance.
Creating an aesthetically pleasing office that is designed for productivity, flexible working hours so employees can get healthy periods of down time, and creating new immersive experiences (like away days), are some less financially tangible benefits that can also make a huge difference to IT team retention.
Ultimately, your company needs to live and breathe its values and its ideology. Integrating and driving a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme into your organisation will give your IT team an opportunity and focus on doing good. It will also bolster your employer brand, whilst empowering your employees and supporting wide range of charitable causes. You should consider your CSR initiatives as seriously as your corporate strategy.
If you would like more advice on how enhance your employer brand and retain your key IT staff, contact our specialist IT recruitment consultants.