Retention Strategies You Mustn’t Neglect When Hiring Software Engineers


5 Tactics to Hire Candidates with Stickability

Unless you employ effective retention strategies, your business could bleed software engineers.

Studies show that it costs as much as nine months’ salary to replace a talented member of your team. That’s an expense you’ll be keen to avoid.

Of course, it’s not only the financial cost of employee turnover that should concern you. Replacing software engineers is a time-consuming process. Analysis of data held by Glassdoor puts the time to hire a new software engineer at 35 days.

Then there is the reputational damage that employee turnover does, and the potential to harm project timelines and customer relationships. When a valued member of a team leaves, it can adversely affect team morale – perhaps even prompting more departures.

While most organizations put employee retention strategies high on their HR agenda, many don’t focus their effort where attention to retention should begin – with the hiring process.

Here are five retention tactics that you should employ when hiring for software engineers.

1.    Identify and Emphasize Your Culture

The longer an employee stays with you, the higher their productivity. So, what makes them stay? In a word, engagement.

When an employee is engaged with your company’s values and its purpose, you give their work meaning. They understand that their contribution is valuable, and know how they fit into the big picture.

It all starts with who and why your company is what it is, and then permeates out to how your people do what they do. When you emphasize these crucial elements from the very beginning of your hiring process, you attract the type of candidates who are most likely to remain with you.

2.    Identify Stickability Early

You’ve attracted the people who resonate with your culture, and have received many applications. Now it’s time to review their resumes for clues that they may seek to move on quicker than you wish.

Job hopping is often (but not always) a red flag. A candidate who has moved from job to job may have issues with loyalty and relationship building. They may prove difficult to work with for your team.

A candidate who has spent a long time with an employer is more likely to be one who has the resilience to battle through tough times in an uncertain business environment – stickability.

Look for other clues that the candidate will dovetail with your culture, too. Do they participate in team sports? Do they volunteer in the local community? Are they supportive of the people they work with?

3.    Look Beyond the Salary

Of course, your salary must be competitive, but it must not be the element that makes your offer attractive. If a candidate makes their decision only because of the salary you will pay them, it may not be long until their head is turned by an offer of more money.

Consider other compensation elements and how they enhance the desire to stay, such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Paid sick leave
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Performance bonuses
  • Stock options

Market intelligence will help you form the basis of your offer, but listen carefully to what candidates say in interviews, too.

4.    Engage with Personal Development

The best candidates will have the talent to progress in their careers. Assess the ambition of those you are interviewing and ensure that you can offer a career path that aligns with that ambition.

Consider, too, how your company will support a candidate’s personal development should you employ them. Career progression is enabled through training, coaching, and developing new skills. An interviewee who is keen to discuss such support for their career is more likely to be engaged with your company as the destination for their long-term career goals.

Investment in training, development, and career progression is an investment in retention.

5.    Prepare for Employee Turnover

Some turnover is inevitable. Planning for it means it does not become a costly emergency. Strategies that are key here include:

  • Developing a network of potential candidates
  • Developing a visible employer brand based upon your culture and values
  • Utilizing the power of your employees by offering employee referral programs
  • Growing a relationship with a specialist staffing agency

As a staffing agency that specializes in supplying highly qualified, experienced, and dedicated technology and engineering staff, our clients take advantage of all the benefits of using staffing agencies, including:

  • Access to a wider and deeper talent pool
  • Lower hiring costs
  • Flexibility to meet demand
  • Faster filling of open roles
  • A collaborative partnership

To learn more about how we help our clients to improve their performance, contact TotalTek today.