How to attract and hold on to top IT talent

May 26 2013 - It's a well known HR statistic that it costs an average of 2.5 times an individual's salary to replace an employee when they leave. So in today's unpredictable economic climate it is essential that businesses retain staff, especially those classed as 'top talent' - your highest performers.

It is widely believed that passive candidates, candidates not actively seeking a job, will be more likely to fall into the category of 'top talent' due to experience and an armoury of specific skills they have developed.

With 79% of the of the IT industry classified as passive according to the MyCareer Employment Forecast report published in November 2012, businesses must have innovative recruitment strategies in place to tap into the passive market of top talent. They must firstly be able to identify who the top talent are and then be able to present a value proposition that will spark their interest according to their key drivers.

What can businesses do to retain their top talent?

Melbourne IT recruitment specialists Resource Solutions Group, conducted a survey of passive and active IT professionals on the "7 Driving Forces to Retaining Top Talent" that uncovered which factors were most important to them in a job.

The IT professionals surveyed were asked to rate the 7 options provided to them from seven to one, where seven was the most important factor and one was the least important.

The survey found that 72% of those surveyed listed Job Satisfaction & Enrichment as their primary driver followed by salary, technology/innovation, company culture, job location, workplace flexibility and employee benefits.

Director and co-owner of Resource Solutions Group, Katrina Park, said that the survey's results didn't come as a great surprise. Katrina said "Employees usually leave a company because of the job itself, not salary or conditions. Job enrichment/satisfaction (lack thereof) is a primary reason an employee will leave." She went on to say that "high performers need to be challenged and feel like they're growing personally and professionally".

" Retention need not be a costly initiative, employees are most highly motivated when they feel that their organisation places its people first, and when they receive regular encouragement and support from management and colleagues," said Katrina Park.

It makes business sense to hold on to your high performers as an engaged employee will give a lot more effort and be far more productive than a disengaged employee. As such organisations need to place a lot more emphasis on retaining and rewarding their top talent and creating a corporate culture that attracts the best people to the organisation.

Katrina also had a few tips for hiring managers that were short on incentives to offer their staff.

"Additional benefits and more flexibility are great ways to attract and retain staff for businesses with limited career development opportunities or salary increase restraints," said Katrina Park.

Katrina said "it's important however to make sure the incentives and benefits are what the staff actually want. For some staff it might be the ability to work from home or have flexible hours, for others it might be the opportunity to do project work, mentor a team, work with new technology, etc".

Katrina also recommends that employers have career development plans in place for their high performers. "They need to see that the organisation has a plan in place for their ongoing development".

If you are a IT Manager/leader that would like to receive a complimentary copy of the full survey results and additional tips on how to attract and retain top talent, please contact the Resource Solutions Group team on 1300 552 731.

For further information on Resource Solutions Group, visit their website

Katrina Park

Katrina Park