I was at a meeting this week with a group of tech leaders. One of them said
“There’s so much competition for tech talent – and they know it! We have a terrible time finding and keeping the people we need. If they are unhappy they can leave any time and find another company to work for.”
Coming from a tech background myself, I wanted to take a look at some objective measurements. I was blown away by what I found.
Much thanks goes to Paul Hendershot who heads up the research department of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce for compiling this data and helping me understand it.
Based on data from EMSI, covering the Charlotte area, for the period Jan 2013-present:
Job Postings Outstrip Actual Hires
This means that Charlotte hiring companies are looking to fill almost twice as many jobs in our market as in the national average.
What about new college grads?
Hiring managers: this means that:
Unless you’ve got something great to offer you will have a terrible time finding people, and when you do, you had better make them happy.
You’re wasting your compensation dollars!
The natural tendency is to offer
- higher base pay and bonuses –
- signing bonuses,
- retention bonuses,
- performance bonuses – whatever it takes to get people to stay.
Of course, you do need to pay fairly. Your pay needs to be close to the going rate – at least average in the market because people are not stupid – and they will find the fair market price for their skills – but you SHOULD NOT have to over pay.
Here’s why paying huge wads of cash will fail.
Don’t believe me? You don’t have to!
They are instead fundamentally driven by three things: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. They are not fundamentally driven by larger paychecks, free food and a game room at the office. They are not driven by crushing workloads and inadequate project resources, either!
People join an organization, but they quit their boss.
You are probably setting your teams up for failure
Most organizations reward employees for delivery – successful project completion or for technical skills alone.
- The best salesman becomes the sales manager.
- The best accountant becomes the accounting manager.
- The best developer becomes the development manager.
- The best DBA becomes the manager of the DBAs.
“High potentials don’t just become leaders. There’s some knowledge that you’ve got to give them to be able to become good leaders and good managers” – Dr. Peter Bamberger, Tel Aviv University Business School
What are you doing today to set your teams up for success?
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
- Do you want to be the place that people are excited to “get” to work?
- Do you want to build a company where technical people won’t even consider leaving?
You need to set up a system that creates great bosses.
But If It’s Not Money, What Do They Really Want?
- Do they work best in pair programming? Make it happen.
- Do they have a tough commute or family needs that make getting to the office at exactly 9:00 a problem? Let them have a flexible schedule.
- Is there some time consuming bureacratic system that made sense in the past but now just gets in the way of progress? Now is a great time to let them come up with a better system!
You need a plan to get there
“If you take an engineer and you want to turn him into a leader in an organization you can’t just assume that you promote them and they will learn over time how to become a leader. Some of them will. The vast majority won’t.” –Dr. Peter Bamberger, Tel Aviv University Business School
You need a plan to grow the leadership skills of the people in leadership positions and the people who want to someday be in those leadership positions.
- Manage Conflict,
- Improve Communications,
- Delegate work, and
- Plan well.
What If I’m Not In Charlotte?
Your market or tech talent may not be as competitive as Charlotte, but your tech folks have options – and you’ll get more done, more profitably if you can get them engaged in success.
Let’s not let geography get in the way. I serve clients outside the Charlotte market regularly. I’d be happy to talk about really effective options that we can create together to help your team. Let’s get started – call me! 240-668-4799