5 Great Tips for Attracting and Retaining IT Talent
Companies in an e-business environment have got a tough assignment: they must be competitive enough to attract and retain talent with the specific skills needed to meet the company's current business objectives, but they have to avoid paying inflated salaries when demand for those skills cools. Right now that assignment is so tough that, in fact, most companies have unacceptably high turnover and unfilled high-tech positions by the case.
To be successful, according to Hewitt Associates IT compensation consultant Faye Lott, companies must work hard to develop an effective strategy for attracting and retaining hot skills talent. Lott offers these thoughtful suggestions.
Develop a Compensation Philosophy.
"Compensation offerings should support business strategies," said Lott. "Be responsive to the market in base pay, bonuses and stock in accordance with those strategies, and balance that with non-compensation benefits."
Provide Room to Learn and Grow.
Most of the top high-tech talent is looking for challenging opportunities to grow and work with the latest technologies. Companies that provide this type of environment are sure to have the upper hand.
Partner with Key Departments.
Managers are encouraged to forge relationships with the HR department, IT management and recruiters (if applicable) to effectively package company offerings. These departments are usually the first to spot trends and competitive activity. It's also a good idea to determine if recruiters are gathering applications from within closely associated industries or from business-at-large. Competition for hot skills talent is global and not limited to individual industry sectors.
Get Employee Input.
"While most exiting employees will say they're leaving because of pay they can't refuse, the bigger question should be what had them looking or receptive to offers in the first place," said Lott. "You need to determine why the employee is really leaving; rarely is it just money."
Assess Every Six Months.
"Conduct a retention assessment among IT employees and managers every six months, and take action on the results," said Lott.
This evaluation should include questions related to:
- How well an individual is performing in relation to the business objectives;
- The level and quality of training and development opportunities;
- Employee access to cutting-edge technology;
- The performance management system;
- Work and work/life environments;
- The degree of collaboration between Compensation/HR and IT;
- Coherence of the compensation strategy; and
- Effectiveness of leadership.