Tech companies: how your interview experience impacts your talent retention
That sinking feeling when another of your tech team resigns. A feeling that’s all too familiar? You’re not alone.
A recent study by LinkedIn found the technology industry to have the highest turnover rates, peaking at 13.2%. When you break this down into job categories, it’s evident to see the retention problem lies within the highest in demand jobs. UX Designers sit right at the top of this with a turnover rate of 23.3%, closely followed by Embedded Software Engineers who have a turnover rate of 21.7%.
The word retention is on everyone’s lips at the moment and it’s easy to understand why, it’s difficult to keep your top tech talent from falling into competitors’ hands.
What is the quick fix to this? In truth, there isn’t one but when 80% of candidates consider leaving their role due to poor management style and culture, adjusting management behaviour can be a deal breaker. Have you considered that this extends way beyond your management style on a day to day basis and reaches back to how the candidate perceived you at interview? A recent study by Monster.co.uk says more than two thirds of job seekers turn down a job if their first impression is sub-standard. First impressions really do matter.
So, let’s go back to the very beginning. Your first few interactions with your candidate will give them a preconceived perception of you and your leadership style. So what’s important in those first interactions?
Communication. Or a lack of it. Having clear communication throughout the hiring process indicates empathy and a caring leadership style, important as no one wants to be managed by a robot. Something as simple as providing feedback that is special or unique to that candidate will make them feel understood and invested in. By investing in that candidate, they in return, are far more likely to invest in you and demonstrate loyalty.
Make it Personal. Appreciate that every candidate is an individual and has unique priorities. Something as simple as creating an offer to specifically meet these priorities will mean they are less likely in the future to seek these out from your competitors. The best way to do this is at the interview stage. Find out as soon as you can, what motivates this candidate? Consider, are they money motivated and striving to hit a certain salary? Are they focused on office culture? Are they focused on flexi-time or other company benefits?
Put yourself in their shoes. Would you be happy with your on-boarding process and if you aren’t, would you accept that role? If you did accept, how long is it going to be before you move onto a competitor that ticks all of your boxes? By asking yourself these questions when dealing with a candidate, you’re much more likely to get the top talent on board but more importantly, keep them.
So, what can you do to test the success of your interview and on boarding process?
- Ask for feedback from every candidate that you’ve interviewed – a short anonymous survey will do the job (include the NPS question to see if they would recommend your interview experience)
- New starter check ins – ask them about previous interview experiences that they particularly liked or disliked and why, to help understand your competition
- Conduct out of industry benchmarking analysis – rather than replicating mediocre, learn from the very best practice regardless of industry