How To Prevent Others From Poaching Your Tech Talent

Headhunting has beenaround for decades. Nowadays, thanks to technology, it’s become a lot easier.Tech talent can be contacted through email, even social media pages withattractive offers from competitors.

Talent poaching is aquick, simple and cost-effective way for your competitor to get the employee oftheir dreams. At the same time, it can be a disaster for you. It’s a commonoccurrence in all industries, yet in technology, it seems to be even moresignificant. A total of 88% of technologists surveyed said they were eitheractively or passively seeking opportunities.

It’s almost impossibleto avoid your employees being contacted by the competition, but there arethings you can do to stay ahead if the game.

Why would your tech talent leave your company?

1,400 softwareengineers were asked this question in a Glassdoor survey. Here are the top 5reasons:

  • Salary& Comp -78%
  • CareerGrowth Opportunities- 76%
  • Type ofWork- 58%
  • CompanyCulture- 53%
  • Location ¬Commute- 41%

Let’s take a look ateach of these reasons in detail.

Salary and Compensation

Most technologysalaries are already rather attractive. The companies with the highest moraledon’t just dish out big salaries, they combine it with other incentives. Techworkers like to have the freedom to take on responsibilities, make mistakes andlearn from them. They like to know their work is making a difference.Developers need to feel a sense of purpose.

Create a community

In order for yourdevelopers to feel like they are making a difference, it’s important to createa community vibe within the workspace. Get to know them on a personal level insteadof seeing them as another employee. Consider the following:

  • Intra-teamcompetitions- promotes team-bonding activities
  • Tools tobuild a community- developers need honest feedback in a timely manner, keepcommunication open
  • Developercommunity investment program- programs and initiatives to make sure developersare continuously learning

Look at providing perks/privileges

Many developers lookfor a job with work/life balance. They also value the ability to work from homeat least one day a week and flexible working hours. It’s important thatdevelopers are driven and enjoying their workdays. In turn, your productivitywill increase, as will your profits.

Privileges and perksmay include paid maternity/paternity leave, contributions to fitness, reducedworking week in summer, and meal tickets. Keep the lines of communication openwith employees; find out what incentives they would like.


One sure reason for adeveloper to change jobs is if they find out their salary is too low or that theircolleges are paid more. Having a transparency policy removes the secrecy andpromotes equality in salaries.

The Opportunity to Grow in their Careers

When a company investsin its developers there are two main advantages. Your developer is learning andincreasing their job satisfaction, which will improve retention. Secondly, asyour developer is learning, you are ensuring that they are keeping up to datewith all of the latest trends in the IT industry. Monster published a list ofsome of the best training and development programs provided by companies:

  • SeattleGenetics- Access to conferences, seminars, onsite training courses, andreimbursed training
  • SAS-Professional training and development with leadership programs, mentoring, anda career resource centre
  • Amazon-Intensive training and leadership for one month. Employees learn to work fromhome with their Virtual Contact Centre
  • RandstadUS- Certification, new manager skills, leadership development, communicationand presentation skills, and mentoring and coaching programs.
  • Paychex-sales programs for new hires, virtual learning at home as well as at its state-of-the-arttraining facility.

Type of Work

Developers must bechallenged in order to be happy at work. Some of these ideas will help encourageyour developer to come to work with a smile of their face:

Offer creative freedom

A developer’s job involvesthinking outside the box to solve complex problems. They need the freedom to dothis and will struggle if they feel like there are restrictions. Give them thechance to choose their own projects, particularly projects that meet theircertain skills and strengths. Some companies have had great success by lettingeverybody participate in the decision-making progress, regardless of seniority.


There will come apoint when a developer can’t solve a problem. They are already going to feeldisappointed and frustrated so there is very little point in you adding tothis. Empowering employees to be an expert in their field will provide themwith confidence and encourage peer learning.

Company Culture

It’s a common factthat developers appreciate employers who appreciate individuality. There is nosuch thing as normal! Company culture allows developers to feel valued andrecognized for who they are. When developers are enjoying the time they spendat work, they are less likely to move on.

A positive company culture includes job security, being able to communicate openly, when the team feels like it’s more than a job, and most noticeably, there are no Monday morning blues.

The Netflix cultureincludes a high performance with a focus on context over control. They providefreedom and responsibility, promotions and development. The company also paystop dollar.

Location and Commute

Very often withsoftware development, it is not necessary to work from a desk in the office.Remote work is something that most developers are looking for. While remotework is a great solution for both employees and employers, it is stillimportant for the team to have constant contact. Here is what GitLab does toencourage this:

  • Dailyvideo calls
  • Localmeetups
  • Slackchannels
  • Assistedtravel expenses
  • Get-togethersat the CEO’s house in the Netherlands
  • Coffeechats online
  • Co-workingcalls

Just implementing a fewof these ideas may prevent your developer from wavering and being snapped up bya more attractive offer. Not only will it improve your retention, but it willalso improve the general vibe in your workplace, making your company a greatone to work for.

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