Money, Relationships, and Challenges: The Drivers of the Tech Job Life Cycle

By Chelsea Babin

Available technical talent has been scarce for years and there’s no good reason to assume this will change any time soon. In fact, The Knowledge Academy (in partnership with Glassdoor), found that more than a quarter million new software developer positions will open through 2026. Even with automation allowing some software to take over many aspects of coding, companies will need developers to focus on project creativity, project management, and other higher-level things that machines can’t do on their own.

So, if the shallow pool of technical talent continues to decrease and the number of job openings continues to grow, it’s important to understand the drivers of the tech job life cycle. That’s where Hired’s Global Brand Health Report comes in. they queried technical professionals cross the United States to figure out which factors lead candidates (and former employees) to both engage with and leave a company.

The first thing they found that money is still an important factor, even in technical professionals who aren’t primarily motivated by money. 55% of tech pros reported that they consider income first when they apply for a job, and 62% say they engage with a company because they’ve been told the salary range up front. As for leaving their current or former positon, 74% of technical professionals said a higher base salary elsewhere drove their decision-making process, which emphasizes the importance of staying competitive and knowing the going rate for technical professionals in your area.

The second most important factor, according to tech pros, was a company’s reputation. 45% of respondents said a recognizable company name caused them to engage in a job search and that the company’s reputation was critical to their initial application. A positive reputation can attract the best talent—even those who aren’t really looking for a new job—to your organization.

Finally, 37% of technical professionals said they leave their current or former jobs because they don’t feel valued by management. 36% reported they avoided certain companies due to an impression of a “negative company culture” and 27% were interested in the team they’d get to work with when applying. So, what does this mean? Relationships—both positive and negative—can drive a technical employee to leave your company or drive a technical professional to your company. Fostering a positive company culture, a sense of support and encouragement from management, and camaraderie amongst your technical team will help you retain valuable technical talent for a longer period of time and attract the right kind of professionals to your company.

Finally, there’s a lot to be said for the allure of an exciting technical challenge or an enticing technical problem to solve. 64% of respondents said they have left a job because another company offers them “new problems to solve” while 41% said they’ve turned away from certain opportunities because they’re not interested in the company’s mission or current projects. Want to drive the right talent to your organization? Present the technical challenges they’ll get to tackle up front and lure them in with the problems they’ll get to solve. After all, the best technical professionals are the passionate ones and the passionate ones are most likely to go towards the opportunities with challenging, exciting workloads that will keep them engaged every day.

A bad reputation or a rotten company culture can drive technical professionals way while a competitive salary and challenging workload can attract them to your company’s flame. As the IT job market continues to stay healthy and competitive, your company can avoid a precarious position by keeping these elements in mind and prioritizing camaraderie, a positive work culture, a challenging workload, and offering a competitive salary.