CXO

Why engineers leave your company: The 7 most-cited reasons

Hiring managers struggle to understand why they fail to retain IT talent, according to a Digital Ocean report.

Hiring skilled tech workers remains a struggle for many managers, but it's only half the battle: Once they've found the right candidate, 44% of companies said they struggle to retain that IT talent, according to a Friday report from Digital Ocean.

The reasons for this are varied, the report found. Hiring managers cited competing opportunities elsewhere (34%), lack of similarly minded talent (20%), stagnation in projects that de-motivates engineers (19%), lack of growth opportunities (17%), and not making retention an explicit priority (10%) as the top reasons their company has trouble retaining tech talent.

However, there appears to be a disconnect between hiring managers' beliefs and engineers' real reasons for leaving a job, the report found. When engineers were asked the primary reasons why they choose to leave a job, a lack of opportunities for growth and development topped the list, with 49% of engineers citing this.

SEE: Job description: DevOps engineer (Tech Pro Research)

Here are the top seven reasons why engineers said they left a position in the past.

  1. The position lacked opportunities for growth and development (49%)
  2. Leadership/management were bad (47%)
  3. The company used inefficient or obsolete technologies (31%)
  4. I was offered higher compensation elsewhere (21%)
  5. I wanted more freedom to work remotely (19%)
  6. There were too many stagnant projects (18%)
  7. I was offered better benefits elsewhere (16%)

This highlights the fact that tech talent prioritize jobs that offer opportunities for growth, strong leadership, and cutting-edge technology, rather than those that only offer top compensation, benefits, and perks.

This seems to bear out among the 56% of companies that said they do not have trouble retaining tech workers, the report found. The top reasons these companies cited for their ability to keep engineer and developer talent in house include a great workplace culture (54%), ample opportunities for growth (20%), fast adoption and implementation of new technologies (20%), and competitive salaries (7%).

Talent is the no. 1 obstacle keeping CIOs from achieving their objectives, according to a Gartner report. With this in mind, it's beneficial for businesses to invest in talent development and technologies to keep the best IT employees around.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 44% of companies said they struggle to retain IT talent. — Digital Ocean, 2018
  • The top reasons engineers leave jobs include lack of opportunity for growth and development (49%), poor leadership (47%), and using inefficient or obsolete technologies (31%). — Digital Ocean, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Riccardo_Mojana

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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