The Biggest Reason Tech Workers Switch Jobs (Hint: It Isn’t Money or Their Boss)

November 10, 2016

Tech workers are among the most in-demand employees in the world. A LinkedIn analysis found that IT workers get twice as many InMails from recruiters as employees in other verticals, and software engineers get two-and-a-half times as many.

So how do you hold onto your tech talent when so many organizations are going after them? 

It starts with understanding what motivates tech workers to leave their job. To find that out, we at LinkedIn surveyed hundreds of tech workers who just changed jobs, and asked them why they did so.

The biggest reason? Career development, or lack thereof.

The evidence is clear – tech workers, more than anything else, want a job that’ll take them places. And, if you don’t give them the chance to advance their career, they have plenty of opportunities to go somewhere else where they can.

So how do you give tech workers the opportunity to advance their career within your organization?

In our new ebook, we offer a five-tiered strategy on how to attract and retain tech talent, based around building a culture where people can grow their career from within your organization. Some of the key steps there are:

1. Provide learning opportunities to tech employees.

Tech workers want to advance their careers. To do that, they need to master the skills necessary to make that happen.

If you give your tech workers an opportunity to learn those skills within your organization, there’s a great chance they’ll stay. And this isn’t just training on tech skills, although those are critical. Many of your tech employees might aspire toward leadership positions, so giving them training opportunities to master soft skills can be just as important.

2. Look to promote from within.

Along those lines, you should always look from within your organization first when hiring for any leadership position. This sends a clear signal to your employees that they can grow their career within your organization.

Additionally, there’s overwhelming evidence that organizations that hire their leaders from within outperform organizations that look externally for leaders. So it's smart business, too.

3. Have your managers talk to their employees about career development.

The research shows employees want to advance their careers, and yet rarely do employees and managers have honest conversations about that. Instead, employees keep quiet about their true career aspirations, while they quietly search for better jobs elsewhere.

It’s time to break that cycle. By encouraging your managers to have honest career conversations with their employees, they can better design development plans for them and you drastically increase your chances of retaining tech workers.

Tying it all together

As the data shows, tech employees are highly sought-after, as they consistently get unsolicited job offers from recruiters at other companies. If you do nothing to retain them, they’ll leave, and you’ll lose time and money searching for their replacements.

Hence, having a strategy to retain tech talent is critical. And that starts with knowing what motivates them to leave – career development – and then figuring out a way for them to build their career within your organization.

Are you doing everything you can to retain your tech employees? Download our free ebook today on how to do exactly that.

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