This post was updated in November 2017 with new information.
Your best developer might be interviewing with your competition, and you won’t know it until he or she gives notice. According to Recruiting Developers in 2017, 59 percent of developers are open to new job opportunities. This means almost two-thirds of your software development team is open to hearing about other roles—possibly from your competitors.
Consequently, with such fierce competition for talent in the marketplace, retaining your quality software developers has never been more important. Here are a few tips to help you retain developers.
Understanding which perks and opportunities your competition offers allows you to see how your company compares regarding pay, benefits, and culture (and how to make changes if necessary). While focusing on your industry competitors should be your main priority, you should also ensure your company is compensating your software developers appropriately for your location. Software developers hear about multiple opportunities each week and may be tempted to jump ship if they learn of a similar job that pays much better.
Generally speaking, most software developers like to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies. It also allows them to engage with other developers about why working on project X was great (besides what the final result was). Matt Kremer, a software developer for Ionic.io, explains: “We like using the newest and greatest technology because it fulfills our desire to learn and tinker.”
While working with the latest and greatest technologies is important to software developers, companies should also look into offering software developers other perks like remote work or the option of working non-standard hours. Developers want to balance work with family and other interests, and they highly value the flexibility to do so.
While there are plenty of other perks your company could offer, the best way to find out what is important to your software developers is to simply ask. TEKsystems’ research shows this will help your company both retain developers and help save it money.
As is with any other industry, your employees usually want career advancement. If you are not offering opportunities to your software developers, they may begin looking at other companies—maybe even your competition. By recognizing your developer’s experience and time within your company through some type of career advancement such as a more prestigious title or increased compensation, you ensure that you keep an important employee happy.
Building positive relationships with your software developers is crucial. Being a recruiter, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve spoken with a developer who rushes me off the phone because he or she believes I simply see them as a dollar sign. When I explain to them my purpose is to build a relationship with them and not to see if they are interested in an opportunity, they are usually more willing to speak with me.
The world of technology is highly competitive, but it’s important not to become so focused on completing objectives that you forget you’re dealing with people -- people who have their own interests, emotions, objectives, and long-term goals. Building good relationships with software developers will benefit you in the long run because it will motivate them to stay with your company even if they get a slightly better offer.
Additionally, building positive relationships with your software developers facilitates more open communication, a feeling of belonging and possibly referrals of other great software developers to join your team.