You’ve Got The Talent. Now What?

Posted on 16th October 2017

There are plenty of blogs out there helping you attract the best tech talent but what about keeping them?

Competition for the best techies is tough. But do you really think the competition stops once someone has joined your business?

Retention is just as important as attraction.

A typical trap people fall into is that when they’re ‘chasing’ a candidate they put everything into it. They are attentive, efficient and  thoughtful. In fact, we almost treat interviewing like dating (well if you’re doing it right anyway!).

But once the chase is over and we have our person, we carry on with working life and drop that dating mentality. The person no longers feels special.

Don’t just smooze to get your candidate on board and then drop them as soon as they’ve joined. Work just as hard to ensure that you keep them.

UKTN recently ran a research piece and discovered that 75% of tech professionals expect to change employers in the next year.

The same report also stated that 30% said that salary is one of the most important factors when deciding who to work for.

The thing is, when you’re a start up, it may be a little tricky to compete with some of the biggest tech giants.

With salary being hard to compete with it’s worth implementing other measures to ensure you keep your top talent.

There are 4 key components when it comes to retaining your top tech talent.

Offer Career Progression:

UKTN’s report suggests that 27% of respondents consider having a clear career path to be the most important factor for staying with a business.

These days it’s quite common for businesses to promise career progression but fail to deliver.

It’s important you demonstrate what’s realistic by showing key deliverables and timelines. Ensure that you catch up with your team members regularly to keep the updated with their progress so they know exactly what they need to do and when.

If your start up has a flat structure then progression will need to look a little different (but it’s still important to have some form of progression available).

Non hierarchy progression can take place in individual bonuses – relate them to key company goals so the individual and business becomes more aligned.

Provide Training Employees Actually Want:

A huge 55% of employees are planning on upskilling through self-funding and taking part in external projects.

An easy way to retain employees is to support them in their development.

Provide a training budget so they can take control of how they develop and when. After all employees who self reflect will know the areas they need to improve and if they are completing training that they actually want to do, they are more likely to be engaged.

If you don’t have the resource to provide a budget then there are funding options available. The Digital Business Academy is one example of many.

As well as seeking funding, you could get creative and use your network to create training opportunities for your employees.

Job swaps and mentors are a great way for someone to learn something new and you probably already know someone who would be willing to help. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

It’s also important to support your team in training that may not have a direct impact on the business. It shows you value them as a human being and increase their engagement.

Make Sure You Keep Your Tech Staff Challenged:

People hate being stifled.

Having a sense of fulfillment will help keep your tech talent happy and they will be more like to stay if they are continuing to learn, grow and be challenged.

Give staff freedom & ownership. Work in a way that enables employees to deliver the best results. Employees can choose their hours, where they work, the meetings they attend and the amount of holiday they can take in order for them to create the most value and be at their best.

Let them try new things and implement their own solutions to business challenges.

Keep things fresh for your techies by rotating teams and projects assigned.

If your team are bored, they will leave. Keep pushing them, keep them challenged!

Create An Enjoyable Work Environment:

The working environment is made up of several elements; team dynamics, company culture, social activities, security, projects assigned and other perks.

It’s important that you don’t neglect any of these elements. Think of it like an ecosystem – they all need to be working in tandem to get the best results.

An important factor to consider is that staff want to feel like they have job security. With this in mind, be transparent on company performance, operations and strategy at all times.

Perks don’t have to be expensive, there are many ways you can create an enjoyable environment without a huge budget.

Here are some budget friendly ideas:

  • Monthly / Quarterly / Yearly awards based on gamifaction methods for staff excellence. Prizes can range from; gift cards, lottery scratch cards, dress down days, a meal out with senior management., extended lunch for a week, a free day off, paid development courses and weekends away.
  • A suggestion scheme that not only rewards for the best idea but that lets the person who suggested take ownership of the project.
  • Coffee Tuesdays; why don’t you treat your team to a coffee in your local shop every Tuesday morning. You’ll be amazed how a change of scenery can re energize people and supply extra creativity to those projects that need improving.
  • Have family days out, treat staff members, friends and families to movies nights (this could be in the office with a projector and Bluetooth speaker), picnics and activity days. Remember to hold these special days on a work day, you want everyone to participate and not have to give up any of their personal time.

Our Partner James has some great advice to share on this topic based on his time with clients such as Farmdrop:

“Give staff freedom & ownership. Work in a way that enables employees to deliver the best results. Employees can choose their hours, where they work, the meetings they attend and the amount of holiday they can take in order for them to create the most value and be at their best.”

All of this advice isn’t rocket science but it is often forgotten. Remember to keep that ‘dating’ style attitude once your employee has joined.

If you invest your time and attention to people. They will invest their time in you and your business.

We work with high growth gaming studios to ensure they hire the best staff for their companies and their environments. We work with you, on site, as part of your team. We’ve helped to build teams for Supercell, Klarna, Farmdrop and more. If you’d like help building your team, get in touch here .


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