Software Development Talent: Top Strategies for Retention
Your company is growing, but your software development team isn’t. You have a lot of work to get done, but not enough people to get it done, and you need to ensure the software development talent you have already acquired sticks around long-term.
The importance of employee retention, especially in the software development space, can’t be overstated. Whether a start-up or an established entity or anything in between, you need a high employee retention rate to stay competitive. Companies that maintain a definitively high employee retention rate enjoy greater profits and productivity. Their teams are stronger and their clients have better experiences.
Recruiting new software talent is expensive and time-consuming, and you never seem to find the right people for your company. By keeping your employee retention rate high, you spend less on recruiting and training. You also get to hold onto the wealth of knowledge and experience.
Employees represent the main drivers of business growth. In this increasingly competitive economy, you need the right software development talent retention strategies. The key for managers is understanding what drives high turnover numbers so that retention rates don't suffer too greatly from poor management practices (or a complete lack thereof).
Imagine hiring software development talent who are excited about working at your company because they already know what it is like there. They've worked with other companies in the industry before, but chose yours because they loved their experience so much that they wanted to come back again! The demands of the market mean developers have a tendency to switch jobs more than do workers in other industries. Software development talent can quit for one of several reasons—more money, recognition, company culture, job satisfaction, a general disconnect.
Developers generally want flexibility and thrive on challenges, growth, and responsibility, and giving them a reason or reasons to stay may be easier than you think.
These top retention strategies for software development talent can help.
Evaluating Your Employee's Potential
Individuals may have potential but lack motivation, or they may have motivation but lack potential. Either situation produces a mismatch. Ideally, an employee should have a healthy mix of both—that much sought-after sweet spot.
Regularly evaluating your employee’s potential is a good place to start to find that sweet spot. Use forward-looking measures to evaluate an employee’s drives, values, cognitive capacity, and even personality. Factors that can influence whether a person will want to stay or leave.
Some employees may not even be aware of their software development talent and potential. Talent and potential which regular evaluations can unearth and that may just encourage them to linger longer and grow with the business. Evaluating or appraising the potential of a worker is also a predictor of future performance, feeding into incentivization. Employees high in potential are often driven individuals. They demand more from their jobs.
A smart approach to managing your software development talent needs involves IT outsourcing which costs less than the combined direct and indirect costs of hiring and training new talents on average. You can also deploy talent acquisition software to help effectively manage and evaluate your company’s most important resource: your employees. A performance management system, such as IntelliHR or OrangeHRM, offers features for instructing and reviewing employees.
Technology systems to manage employee performance allow you to track more employees, with more regular evaluations. These systems give employees an opportunity to offer their input, too.
Evaluating Your Employee's Career Growth
In addition to evaluating your employee’s potential, it makes sense to chart and have a handle on your employee’s career growth aspirations. Many employees see job-hopping as the best opportunity for growth and material gain. And with the economy in a state of flux, employees may feel like the only way to move up is to move on. When employees are able to recognize opportunities for development that exist within an organization, they’re more likely to stay.
Career development strategies tie the worker’s interests with that of the organization. With knowledge of your employee’s career trajectory, you can better align job tasks. Employees will be more productive, more satisfied in their jobs, and feel more connected to the company. People, nowadays, want more than just traditional compensation. Top talent won’t even consider working for an enterprise that does not have career development driving company culture.
Many of the same tools that aid you in evaluating your employee’s potential can also help to map your employee’s career development path. PeopleFluent and Betterworks can give you analytics on employees, along with recommendations for improvement.
Software for evaluating career growth focuses your workers on core organizational goals. The tools aid you in managing job descriptions and matching these with employee responsibilities. Smart and forward-looking organizations are taking measures to foster an atmosphere of growth where employees recognize scope for gain and advancement, and where roles are viewed as careers and not simply as jobs.
Measuring Employee Satisfaction of Your Software Development Talent
To retain your software development talent in your organization, you must keep them satisfied. And to keep them satisfied, you should measure their opinions.
You’ll want to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to see how satisfied your employees are with their jobs. Employee KPIs offer valuable data you need to determine what and where adjustments need to be made to maintain or even increase retention rates. Measuring and increasing your software developers’ satisfaction levels boosts their engagement and performance and correlates well with company profitability.
Measuring the job satisfaction of your software development talent involves knowing their interests. Several measuring methods can give you a sense of what workers want and what makes them tick. Going beyond the annual review, modern digital tools offer real-time feedback. They also offer comprehensive details on your employee’s performance matrix.
Maintaining employee satisfaction is akin to maintaining satisfaction in other life areas. It takes knowledge, having your finger on the pulse of events. It takes constant nurturing for it to grow. Letting developers know that you are aware of their opinion tells them they matter.
Measure satisfaction by asking employees their views in person or in writing. Moreover, you can conduct performance reviews (and not only once a year). You can also incorporate employee self-reviews. One-on-one conversations can prove useful too. Keep your questions clear and easy to understand, but specific.
As you are writing your questions, consider these tips from Qualtrics as you draw up your questions:
- Be simple, direct, comprehensible
- Be actionable
- Be specific and concrete
- Avoid jargon
- Avoid double-barreled questions
- Avoid negations
- Avoid leading questions
- Avoid emotionally charged words
- Be read smoothly out loud
- Allow for all possible responses
So, don't let the grass grow under your feet, help your company grow instead. Gauge how satisfied employees are with regular, consistent, anonymous feedback and turn that data into actionable steps that’ll help you create an incredible workplace for your employees.
Recognizing Your Software Engineer’s Hard Work
Your software engineer is a highly skilled professional who works tirelessly to create innovative solutions for your business to grow and succeed. But have you ever thanked them for their hard work?
Recognizing their hard work is not only fair, but it’ll also boost morale and productivity. A developer who feels appreciated is far more likely to remain at your firm. Recognizing employee efforts can also have a knock-on effect as other workers will be driven to achieve.
In addition to identifying areas for improvement, performance management software can pinpoint areas where employees excel. Have any of their projects stood out recently? This can give you some ideas for how to compliment developers.
Annual performance reviews make for an opportunity to offer recognition, but this is not ideal if you want to retain your best and brightest. Recognize their efforts early, such as after a notable accomplishment or even at the end of the day.
Some tools include features to design and use performance plans. These may feature templates that can be customized to suit your needs. This functionality gives you a framework within which to offer regular positive feedback (and rewards) to software engineers who consistently meet and exceed targets. Performance measurement can also feed into your recognition of employees while recognition programs can draw attention to achievements.
Software development is a highly competitive space. Companies have to strive for constant innovation and nurturing of talent so they can continue to recruit top-level developers. Recognizing their sometimes Herculean efforts can go a long way in keeping them on board.
Using a Tool to Give Software Development Talent Employee Incentives
Who wouldn’t want to be working at an organization that rewards employees based on performance? You'll be motivated to do your best every day, right? The more successful your team is, the bigger and better your reward.
Offering incentives—financial or otherwise—based on specific tasks completed within a certain timeframe will significantly increase employee morale. This will drive them to achieve higher levels of success and be more desirous of staying with your company. Motivate your employees with a simple incentive plan to increase productivity by rewarding people who go above and beyond their job descriptions with cash bonuses, for example, that encourage them to do more than they thought possible.
Incentive programs can increase the desire for software developers to learn about new tools and systems. Incentive schemes can also promote and entrench organizational values. Smart retention strategies can leverage technology to assist software development talent in getting what they want out of work (and you giving when they deliver). Employee incentives establish more reasons to remain with your business, contributing to the goal of retaining your top talent.
Employee incentives can increase collaboration, not only technical know-how. It makes developers feel welcome and valued. Employee incentive programs are a win-win situation, as they yield happier and more engaged employees as well as healthier bottom lines.
With the right tools and techniques, employee incentives can make software talent feel more connected and valued. These incentives can include fun experiential rewards, not just money.
We Develop People Who Develop Technology
Retaining software development talent is more than the paycheck and perks. It’ll take focused effort to keep them engaged, motivated, and excited about the future of your brand.
Growin helps you find the best talent for your business by matching you with top-tier developers from around the world. We offer an innovative way for companies to hire software developers, allowing them to focus on their core competencies while we handle all aspects of recruiting, screening, and hiring.
Our proprietary technology matches candidates based on skill set, location, experience level, and more – ensuring that only the most qualified applicants are considered for each position. With unmatched nearshoring and outsourcing capacity, Growin’s software development services can accelerate your IT projects, delivering them on time and on budget.
Get in touch today and discover how Growin helps companies build stronger foundations for retaining top talent through a people-first mentality while creating cultures where employees feel valued and appreciated so they stay with your company longer. This is our DNA, let’s make it part of yours.
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