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Retain to attract: 4 key tips to develop the developers

Arun Ramachandran Global Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Development, Finastra
Four skeleton keys

Technology is at the forefront of any successful business that wants to innovate. The pandemic was a huge challenge for many organizations that had not yet embarked upon a digital transformation strategy, yet many accelerated their adoption of technology, migrating services and systems to the cloud in order to adapt quickly.

The key to undertaking any digital transformation has always been the ability to cultivate and retain the right type of talent. Not only has the pandemic forced a deeper reliance on technology, but it subsequently has also heralded a big reshuffle in jobs across the globe.

With more businesses needing developers than ever before, and a more saturated market for the workforce to pick from, organizations must stand out to attract, retain, and develop talent. Here's what you need to know.

Global jobs reshuffle  

Since the start of the pandemic, the rate of employees changing jobs has rapidly increased. Lockdowns and working remotely effectively gave them more time to reflect on their current working position, prompting many to evaluate the benefits available to them from other employers and move vertically or laterally to take advantage of new opportunities.

This trend is unlikely to slow down, especially in the tech industry, where there is great competition for talent. With an industry of companies offering similar services or products, often individuals will choose to move or stay based on the respective employer's opportunities, benefits, and potential for job satisfaction.  

Attracting employees has always been a priority and should continue to be a primary practice for businesses that wish to drive success. However, retaining talent must now take the forefront in business strategies or there will be a constant revolving door of talent that will leave businesses unstable and unable to progress ahead of the competition. Additionally, job seekers are more interested in working for a company that has a low turnover rate.

Rather than an organization thinking of attracting and retaining as two separate strategies, they must be looked at as one. Here are four tips to help with this effort.

Align developer skills with business needs

As well as having a good understanding of programming languages, developers must be able to study and understand the business requirements that inform the design of a solution and be able to communicate these requirements.

Understanding what motivates developers and how their skill sets can best be utilized is key to engaging them effectively.

Employers need to look at ways to upskill developers. Ensure that the latest tools and development methodologies are available and utilized. This allows organizations to deliver services more efficiently and with greater frequency, while also advancing the business skills of their developer teams.

Develop soft skills

Organizations should offer learning and development opportunities for developers to acquire good leadership and communication skills. Developers recognize these are important tools in career development.

Developers like to solve problems. Most come from a computer science, engineering, or mathematics background, or have studied one of these alongside another degree. It's their natural state to look for ways to improve what’s in front of them, so it's important to challenge them accordingly.

Create a flexible working environment

The global jobs reshuffle has made clear that employees are now looking for opportunities that can be molded around their lives rather than the other way around. They have firsthand experience working close to their families and saving money and time by cutting out the commute to the office.

According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 50% of workers say childcare issues were a reason they quit a job, and 45% point to a lack of flexibility to choose when they put in their hours.

Businesses must reevaluate and restructure their offerings for hybrid work. Allowing employees to have a more flexible working environment can motivate them more than if they were at the office worrying about childcare or how long the commute will be back home.

Additionally, developers today are more often characterizing themselves as digital nomads. Giving them the option to collaborate in the office and work remotely to focus on tasks will help to increase productivity as well as job satisfaction.

Look to the future

Developers will always have an eye on the future, so show them that there will be opportunities for them to work with evolving technologies. Advances in IoT, connected devices, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, and 5G networks are opening new challenges and opportunities for both organizations and developers.

Everything from smart appliances to self-driving cars will require co-development and collaboration. With growing data and dependency on data from both business and developers, the challenge will be to develop scalable, connected, integrated, interconnected, and high-performing applications.

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