Three Ways to Develop IT Talent and Improve Overall Retention
In today’s ever-advancing technological environment, how can employers best foster retention and development in IT? That’s the question on a growing number of executives’ minds as they search and search for candidates to fill top-level IT positions. Maintaining yearly certification requirements used to be enough to ensure employees stayed knowledgeable in their field and area of expertise. Today, that’s no longer true.
Technology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and many companies are struggling to keep up. Finding outside candidates who can fill companywide skills gap shortages is costly and time consuming–if it can be done at all in an industry with such super-low unemployment rates (about 2.5%). The ideal solution, then, is to retain and develop the talent present already in your organization, transforming solid IT workers into skilled experts who can work, innovate, and problem solve across multiple technology domains. There are several ways to do this:
- Encourage lateral moves for high potentials. IT employees who make several lateral moves within the same company will gain a working appreciation of the company as a whole that will enable them to solve multifaceted problems. They’ll also gain valuable skillsets across technological domains, meaning they’ll know more and be able to implement that knowledge faster than a new recruit. That’s crucial to success in an industry that advances exponentially about every 18-24 months. Bonus: Exposure to novel problems boosts employee engagement, meaning retention rates soar.
- Prioritize passion. Most people who go into IT are passionate about using technological methods to solve problems and answer questions, and nearly all of them have particular problems and questions they’re eager to address. Employers who encourage individual innovation and experimentation in these areas will reap the benefits of engaged employees who are excited to learn and to use that knowledge in novel ways. The result? High engagement and retention rates coupled with advanced technological solutions to modern-day problems.
- Ensure exposure to others, including senior IT leaders and outside resources. Just as technology advances with collaboration, so do IT professionals. High-preforming IT professionals want a chance to share their insights, innovations, and findings with others, including executives and industry leaders. Presenting their ideas and solutions motivates them to continue to excel. IT professionals also need the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with others in their field. Encouraging participation in board associations, conferences, and industry-specific groups will help IT workers maintain enthusiasm for their fields and their individual careers.
By encouraging lateral progression, prioritizing passion, and ensuring exposure to other people, your company can make significant improvements in the development and retention of your current IT employees. Want to support your IT staff even more? Register for our free upcoming webinar below: