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Case Study: Why candidates leave jobs

The UK is facing a crisis within the tech industry. Just as companies adapt to the WFH set up, a crisis has emerged consisting of a large shortage of tech talent. Employees who have been with a company for years are now moving onto new roles, resulting in a lack of tech candidates and leaving companies wondering why. Whether it be career progression, unhappy in the role, or relocation, employees leaving is a common occurrence in any industry. However recently in the tech industry, it’s becoming a crisis.

Using data from our Availability List, we studied the trends and reasons why candidates leave their roles. By analysing the data, we look at what companies can do to retain tech talent.

1. Lack of progression

Out of 184 candidates, the most common reason for leaving was due to lack of progression within their role. Lack of progression and desiring career development were the top reasons why candidates were looking for a new job. This includes dissatisfaction of not progressing higher within the company, or their role not progressing with the latest technology.

A study by CWJobs found that only a third (29%) of tech employees are planning to stay in their current role in the next 12 months, even though 52% said they were satisfied in their jobs. A way for employers to solve this problem is to communicate with employees and listen to their concerns. If they feel like they want to progress within their role, discuss this. Be honest; if there isn’t room for progression, tell them. If there is but they aren’t qualified enough, tell them what they need to work on. By communicating and listening to your employees, you can retain talent whilst keeping your employees engaged.

A candidate on a laptop quitting her job

2.  Wanting a new opportunity

The desire for a new opportunity was the second most common reason. In the tech industry alone, lack of opportunities has become a major factor in candidates’ decisions to change jobs. In our Availability List, 44 candidates explained that they wanted a new opportunity as they felt that they were not being challenged enough and they wanted to work on a variety of projects. To resolve this issue and retain talent, listen to what opportunities they want to pursue. See if there is a specific course they could enrol on whilst working for your company. This gives them the opportunity to upskill, challenge themselves, and provide career progression. If this isn’t possible, look if there is a role more suited to them within the company. They may prefer a different role as it might offer them a new opportunity where they can challenge themselves and have more responsibility.

3. Contract finishing

For many of our candidates, their contracts finishing was a primary reason for leaving a role. From an employer’s perspective, not much can be done in this instance. You might offer the candidate a permanent position, but they may decline. If you do want a contract candidate to move to a permanent role, you could offer company perks and employee benefits to attract them to the company. Benefits such as discounted gym memberships, health plans, duvet days, and social perks can attract candidates to staying. However it’s important to remember a candidate won’t just consider the salary and perks when deciding on a job. The employer branding of your company will be a contributing factor into their decision. If you’re looking to improve your employer branding, get in touch with Jobholler today!

4. Work with specific technology/ skills

​​​​​​​Wanting to work with a certain technology or skill was a prominent reason for candidates seeking a new job. According to TalentLMS, increased training and learning in a role motivates employees. Candidates in our Availability List mentioned they wanted exposure to more technology and wanted to work within more specific roles (DevOps, Infrastructure, etc). This issue can be resolved by reviewing and discussing what technology candidates wish to work with. This is beneficial not just to the candidate, but to the company as you can determine if there is better suited technology for you. Similar to what was previously mentioned, it may be worth seeing if there is a course they can enrol on where they can learn the technology or skill they want to work with.

5. Wanting remote

Pre-pandemic, working from home was a relatively rare concept. In 2019, 4.7% of employees worked from home. By April 2020, this jumped to 43.1%, as the lockdown laws forced offices to close to minimise the spread of Coronavirus. 2 years on and the law has lifted, meaning employees can now return to the offices. However, the arrival of 'WFH' has proved that many employees can conduct their jobs from home.

A person working from home with a child.

The introduction of hybrid working has transformed the office-working routine, with many companies adopting this system. For a lot of candidates, hybrid and remote work is highly favourable. They can save money and time on the commute, be comfortable at home, and for those who have children, they can spend more time with them. When companies announce they are returning to the office full-time, there are many employees who are unhappy about this decision. This has resulted in candidates looking for a new job, which is either hybrid or remote. If candidates leave roles which are full-time in the office, it may be worth considering offering a hybrid working model.

In some cases, candidates may quit due to personal circumstances in some cases. In this instance, its best to ask how the company can provide support and assist in any way they can. It may be inappropriate to try to convince the candidate to stay, so instead support them as much as you can. If candidates have left their job and looking for a new role for a reason listed in this article, organise an exit meeting. Discuss their reasons for leaving and see if there is a way to resolve any issues which could make them stay. Communication is key, and by discussing the reasons why they are leaving, you may be able to retain talent!

If you're looking to recruit top tech talent, get in touch with us today! Looking to improve your employer branding or candidate engagement? Visit our dedicated employer brand JobHoller.

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