Talent retaining: what employees want and what employers offer

Pablo Baldomá JonesPablo Baldomá Jones

Pablo Baldomá Jones

Photographer: Micky Wiswedel | Copyright: Micky Wiswedel

Retaining significant talent is essential for the success and health of a business.

Attracting and retaining talent in technology (IT, developers, programmers, data scientists, etc) has become a real challenge for companies in 2021 and 2022. The talent competition continues to grow, and it seems once again, that the shortage of professionals will exceed the previous figures.

According to a study carried out by The Overflow, in December 2021 there were more than 70,000 open technical positions in the market. However, nearly 80% of developers with job board profiles were not actively looking for work; more than 50% of these said they were open to new job opportunities only if the conditions were attractive.

Now, to know the aspects that employees consider essential to stay or change jobs, we should start by asking them what they consider to be "attractive conditions".

The study determined that:

- 69% of talent would consider leaving their job if they get a pay raise;

- 61% focus on flexibility policies;

- 53% want opportunities to learn and grow professionally.

Regarding the conditions that employees take into account to remain in their current job, flexibility (65%) even exceeds salary (59%), which remains very close to opportunities to learn and grow (56%).

The same study indicates that companies become unattractive to developers when flexibility is interrupted or impossible. 56% of those interviewed by The Overflow shared that they would be willing to leave a job if they had to meet specific work hours in the office, while 50% are not attracted to companies with face-to-face offers.

So, in these times of talent shortage, where employees are looking for a flexible, diverse work horizon, oriented to the balance between personal and professional life, what do companies want - or are they looking for?

According to another study by the Manpower Group, 76% of the organizations that sent their collaborators home will seek to have their employees return to the full-time face-to-face work scheme, while only 8% intend to maintain the hybrid scheme and 3% completely remote.

The study indicates that “3 out of 5 employers will require that at least 50% of their workforce return to their workplace all or most of the time to carry out the tasks they carried out”.

Despite this high figure, only a very small number of companies have decided to reinstate their staff in the offices, most of those that have done so have been affected by constant resignations and those that have not done so have precisely wanted to avoid facing this scenario amid the global talent crisis.

Can you close this gap and match what employees want with what employers expect?

Agreements can always be established and how companies and people operate can be transformed; You just have to know how to take advantage of technological advances and be able to understand the current global context very well.

Many areas that had never been thought of as remote transformed their operations to this modality in times of pandemic. But, now that the quarantine has passed, companies, instead of demanding the total return of their employees, should ask themselves if they must return to the office and only summon them if there is a compelling reason that justifies this decision. In this way, assumptions would be avoided and the relationship between employer and employees would be transparent.

Giving employees the ability to work flexibly is another way to link what they want with each other without sacrificing either party. If flexibility policies are executed properly, employees will feel a better balance between their work and personal life, which will translate into happier, more productive employees, more committed to their functions and the company.

Linked to the above aspects, one of the most effective ways to close the gap between collaborators and employers is through the establishment of bonds of trust. This is achieved by listening to employees and responding appropriately to their needs.

Transparent, frequent and close communication, linked to human work culture, is capable of transforming any friction into an opportunity for improvement and turning work stress into resilience.

Finally, facilitating opportunities for academic training and professional growth is the best way to close the gap between employees and employers; since, in addition to being one of the main ways to attract and retain talent, companies will have qualified professionals to solve their possible operational shortcomings without having to join the fierce talent competition.