It’s easy to feel trepidation when looking at the current state of our economy. The reasons for this are of course myriad and complex: a reflection of a reshaped world in the wake of a pandemic, an ongoing war, rampant inflation, the list goes on. But these are huge global events that everyone can see. Hiring managers have taken out their economic microscopes and identified another detriment to the economy: job hopping.
And hiring managers, in our experience, aren’t afraid to tell you: Most candidates put in a year, get some experience, and make a short-term decision on what to do next. ATR has been in the industry a long time and has seen this erosion of company loyalty happening over years. If we keep operating this way, companies run the risk of losing their most valued resident experts. This is an especially dangerous proposition for any company dealing in technology.
If you want to stop job-hoppers before they jump, and in turn shore up our economy’s future, you’ve got to find balance between these three seemingly disparate factors when running your business.
Get Creative with Culture
We’re all familiar with the Great Resignation at this point and have felt its effects. According to research done by MIT Sloan, a massive driver of attrition during that period was toxic corporate culture. In fact, it was deemed to be “10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover.”
The definition of “toxic” in this context appears broad. It can refer to a lack of DE&I promotion, a general feeling of disrespect among employees, or the discovery of unethical behavior. As a Hispanic- and immigrant-owned business, ATR understands the importance of promoting DE&I because, quite frankly, we live and breathe it every day. And of course, respecting your employees and acting ethically should both be table stakes.
Creating a culture that makes would-be job-hoppers want to stay requires more imagination. We understand this concept at ATR, too, having been a part of Silicon Valley since our inception. When you work in tech, it’s easy to get accustomed to disruption. Paradigm shifts become an expected part of the job. This kind of mindset should, in turn, inspire you to keep tinkering with your own internal culture.
It’s important that we all take active roles in helping our teams grow as professionals, individuals, and ambassadors of high tech. Technology runs on people, which means it thrives when culture does. By focusing on the human element more, tech companies in particular can mitigate attrition.
Baby Steps to Innovation
When you’re done disrupting culture, turn your attention to innovation in a more traditional sense. Surprisingly, the same survey referenced above found that “the more positively employees talked about innovation at their company, the more likely they were to quit.” You read that right. And on top of that, the attrition rates of some of the most innovative companies imaginable are “three standard deviations higher than those in their respective industries.”
This is likely to boggle the mind of people in our field of work! But upon deeper reflection, it makes sense. Progress comes only at the expense of the blood, sweat, and tears of employees, after all. Longer hours, tighter deadlines, and amplified pressure all rear their ugly heads more than they would at slower-paced companies. We all have a mental image of Steve Jobs cracking the whip on his teams to push technology forward, and that kind of leap-frog progress can cost you a talented, expert workforce in the long-run.
It may be difficult to find a middle path, but innovation should always be tempered with realistic expectations and continuous check-ins to make sure employees can handle the load.
Don’t Sleep on Compensation & Opportunities
Culture and innovation as differentiators in the workplace have blossomed in recent years, but humming in the background all the while are competitive pay and the promise of growth—the latter of which doesn’t always look the same to everyone. Not all workers want to climb the corporate ladder in the usual way. Some just want the chance to try something new or be recognized for doing one thing exceptionally well.
Making room in your hierarchy for lateral opportunities that don’t necessarily come with a pay raise can help you retain your workforce more effectively. In fact, “[l]ateral career opportunities are 12 times more predictive of employee retention than promotions,” according to MIT Sloan’s research. People crave freedom in all directions, and when your workforce feels they can follow their passions and curiosity while roaming about your company, you may find that people simply don’t want to leave.
And finally, while salary may not be the primary driving factor anymore, it can’t be ignored. You may just have to think about it differently. Remote work has evened the playing field and made geography far less relevant than it was a few years ago. According to a survey by ALM, “nearly 65 percent of companies do not plan to change compensation based on the employee’s remote location and instead will provide value-based pay to their job talent.” What a novelty!
All of these factors underscore an employee’s desire to be treated with decency at work. There’s very little that can go wrong in your office—remote or otherwise—when the inherent worth of your people informs every decision you make. It’s a high standard to bear, and as the home of the world’s first quality-certified recruiting process, ATR knows what it’s like to have standards. We hope you take these factors into account within your own business—it’s the only way to make job-hoppers think twice before they jump.