Retaining IT Talent – Challenges and Solutions

The dynamics of the world economy have changed profoundly in recent decades. Globalization and new forms of business organization have boosted the speed and intensification of flows of capital, ideas, and people. Given this environment marked by intense competition between companies, the ability to attract, develop and retain qualified professionals is a critical success factor. For a company to be successful, it is necessary to offer quality products, and, for that, it is essential to have workers committed and engaged with the company’s culture – qualified workers are increasingly valued, and it is essential to retain them in the long term.

The evolution of technology was and continues to be done with people: each website or app we use is the result of the work of IT professionals.

When we think that technology is present in all or practically all spheres of our lives, we realize that there is a greater need/competitiveness and, consequently, a shortage of qualified professionals in the IT area, both in Portugal and in the rest of the world. So, it is crucial to understand what motivates and encourages these professionals to remain in an organization for the long term.

🎯 How, then, can we retain the most talented professionals?

Salary is no longer enough to keep a person, especially in an area as competitive and volatile as IT. Put simply, workers want more than money.

The “emotional salary” is increasingly valued, which represents everything that is offered by the company, but which cannot be financially accounted for.

The new generations, specially GenZ, give priority to the quality of life, both at work and outside of it. The work-life balance has become one of the main goals to be achieved by 21st-century companies.

Work-life balance is a state of stability in which a worker prioritizes both his career and his personal life.

When companies weigh both areas equally, they can offer a healthier environment and have teams that are better prepared to respond to clients’ needs.

To promote this balance, the company can adopt measures such as providing benefits like adopting flexible hours in which they give workers the freedom to manage their time. This turns out to be attractive to new workers and, at the same time, a promoter of work-life balance for the ones that already are working with the company.

The reality of remote work is directly related to the issue of flexible hours, given that workers can organize their routines without being concerned about commuting time.

According to a study by Glassdoor, for 60% of workers, benefits are more important than salary.

On another topic, professional recognition is critical to improving the worker’s experience. It can take many forms, from the praise of a leader, a salary increase without changing position, or even a promotion. It is important to show the worker that he/she is doing a great job, making him/her feel motivated and willing to do more and better.

Currently, the importance of continuous training is increasingly evident. By investing in workers and their training, the company’s intellectual capital increases, contributing directly to the company’s results. In other words, training adds value to both workers and the organization. In the IT area, training assumes a leading role in the development of workers, being an area of constant transformation and innovation.

Still, the career plan is among the aspects most valued by workers – to be able to retain talented workers and enable business growth through a high-performance team.

The career plan is a program that structures the professional path that the worker can pursue within the company, containing all the hierarchical positions and the skills necessary to achieve them, such as training or skills.

This program must be strategically designed, to align the interests of the company and the employees, being beneficial to all and guaranteeing sustainability. The advantage of drawing up a consistent career plan that is attractive to the worker is essential to add value to the company and help keep teams stimulated and productive.

There is no magic and applicable formula for all companies to retain their talents. Each context is different and each company, regardless of whether it is in the same area or not, is different.

In this sense, it is important to combine a set of actions and practices so that the company becomes a place where talented professionals feel comfortable and want to grow.