Why Keeping Tech Turnover Rates Low is More Challenging Than Ever

By Chelsea Babin

To avoid lengthy and costly hiring processes, many companies with robust technical teams are doing whatever they can to keep their technical turnover rates low. This entails keeping existing employees happy and feeling valued in their current positions to discourage them from looking elsewhere or finding a new job and putting in their two weeks notice. However, this is a challenging feat in 2018. Why?

One reason stems from how valuable technical employees feel in their current job. Or, more accurately, how they don’t feel that they’re currently valued at their true worth. A recent Dice survey found that 64% of technical professionals are at least unhappy enough in their current position to look for work somewhere else. This can be broken down further into two groups: technical professionals who don’t even feel close to being valued appropriately in their current roles and technical professionals who are marginally happy but looking for better opportunities elsewhere. This should start the alarm bells for many employers because, even your technical team seems happy enough in their current jobs, they may not be happy enough to prevent them from looking for and applying to other open positions. Overall, two-thirds of employed technical professionals feel undervalued in their current positions and are looking for jobs where the grass is greener.

Now that we know how many are looking elsewhere, we need to understand why. Why are technical professionals considering quitting their jobs? Another recent Dice survey sheds valuable insight into that exact question. For the majority, 21%, it’s because they are ready for a promotion. If they don’t feel they can grow within their current company and are no longer challenged in their current position, technical professionals will seek that promotion or potential for a promotion elsewhere.

Next is the 19% of respondents who simply want more money. Executives know that developers are critical to their bottom line and contribute to the overall health and security of their business, but many technical professionals feel that isn’t reflected in their salaries. Though they’re far above national averages, Technical professionals who reported a wage increase via the Dice Salary Survey attributed it to a merit increase, a result of switching jobs, or a result of a promotion. Another 19% of technical professionals felt that they receive no support from management and that’s why they might look for a new position elsewhere.

For 17% of technical professionals who are considering quitting their jobs, it’s because they feel their career has stalled. This can be easily avoided by offering training or the opportunity to work with cross-functional teams. Another 15% plan to leave their current jobs because they feel they’re overworked, and a final 9% want to leave because they don’t like their coworkers. This sheds light on the importance of hiring for a cultural fit and making sure technical professionals have a healthy work-life balance.

Keeping your tech turnover rate low is essential, but it isn’t going to be easy. Use the insight you’ve gained from this article to amp up salary packages, benefit packages, improve work-life balance, offer training initiatives, offer more management support and encouragement, and hire for a cultural fit if you want to improve your company’s technical turnover rate.