Survey Reveals How Companies Can Attract Top Tech Talent

It is no secret that companies are having more difficulty finding, hiring and keeping the technical talent they need. The Great Resignation and an unpredictable economy have made it clear that leaders need a new strategy to attract and retain top talent.

A recent survey by Harvard Business Review asked 500 tech employees and 230 enterprise technology organizations worldwide what makes employees start looking for a new job and what makes them want to stay. The results shed light on the shifting priorities in the workplace.

The Challenge Facing Employers Now

One of the most startling insights from the survey is that only 13% of the surveyed reported being able to both hire and retain the tech talent they need to operate successfully. The pandemic and the changes that have followed have greatly exacerbated talent shortages that already existed. It is more important than ever for employers to understand how to attract talent and create a work environment that makes them want to stay.

The # 1 Reason Top Tech Talent Starts Looking for a New Job

The HBR survey revealed that the top reason otherwise engaged employees start looking for a new employer is a lack of learning and professional growth opportunities. The survey respondents reported that they are likelier to stay with an employer that invests in their professional development and helps them grow in their careers. Organizations that provide opportunities for learning and development, like Crestcom’s 12-month BPM Leadership Development Program, are more attractive to top tech talent looking to grow their skillset.

The #2 Reason Top Tech Talent Quits

46% of the surveyed employees said they would leave a company that stopped offering the flexibility of remote work. About two-thirds of employees said they like a mix of remote and in-office work, with the remaining third preferring to work at least four days a week remotely. However, top tech talent isn’t just looking for flexibility in where they work—they also want flexibility in their schedule, whom they work with, and on what projects. 40% of people looking for a new job seek out employers that offer flexibility in these areas.

The #3 Reason Top Tech Talent Considers Leaving Their Current Job

The survey found that rewards and recognition also inspire top talent to look for new jobs. The survey shows that 70% of employers have already increased salaries and base pay over the previous year, 47% have increased bonus pay, while others have increased health benefits or increased time off with pay.

The Role of Leadership in Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

In addition to providing learning and development, offering flexibility, and ensuring that employees are paid well, leaders must create a work environment where top tech talent can thrive. We’ve identified five areas where organizations can improve to attract and retain the talent they need.

  • Connect Job Roles to a Greater Purpose.  One way to attract and retain top tech talent is to explain how their job impacts others or serves a meaningful purpose. Hiring managers should remember that potential employees are also interviewing them. Therefore, it is important to share the organization’s greater mission or purpose and the positive impact the potential tech candidate can have internally and externally.
  • Focus on Diversity and Inclusion.  Companies that clearly state their ambitions to improve diversity and inclusion in their organization are two times as successful at attracting and retaining top tech talent. Inclusivity is also vital to keeping employees because when employees feel accepted and connected to their teams, they are more likely to stay with their employer. Companies seeing high attrition rates should look closely at improving inclusivity to retain tech professionals on their teams.
  • Upgrade Your Tools and Tech,  80% of employees say using modern tools and methodologies is very important to job satisfaction. Tech talent usually knows about the latest gadgets and software, so include teams in the discussions about upgrades and changes. They can have valuable insight into which upgrades will be worth the money and which are just a lot of hype.

Employers in all job sectors face challenges in hiring and retaining employees, but competition for top tech talent is tough. Leaders that focus on creating a workplace that attracts top tech talent will be better positioned for success.