In the tech industry, workers move around. Often, tech workers are open to changing jobs and are in demand — but they can also be subject to cuts.
One reason workers are more likely to move is the transferability of tech skills.
In fact, the recent Grant Thornton State of Work in America survey showed that tech workers pay less attention to the actual “work itself” when they consider new jobs. Tech industry respondents also indicated that they pay less attention to job security.
Job security and the work itself are less important to tech industry job seekers,
Tech industry workers have traditionally been more mobile than workers in other industries, but current factors indicate that there will be even more movement in the future.
More movement in the future
The speed of technology changes, and the continuation of hybrid work, are two factors contributing to even more transience in the industry’s workforce. These factors affect both companies and individuals, with some companies cutting staff while others can’t fill their positions.
As tech companies look for the right talent, they must compete with other industries for the same types of tech employees. It’s no longer just the biggest tech companies that are grabbing the best talent, but now an abundance of businesses that can offer engaging careers.
The variety of employers contributes to turnover, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. Grant Thornton Transformation Senior Manager Steve Taylor said, “I think younger workers are more likely to look at any job as a gig. They plan to change jobs multiple times, probably a lot more than prior generations of employees.” Our survey showed some striking generational differences in whether workers are looking for new jobs.
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Today’s worker priorities
So, how can tech companies keep today’s workers?
Across generations, innovative workers want to feel valued for their skills, contributions and participation. Taylor explained, “Being on the cusp of innovation is very important to people. For many who really want to be involved in innovation, that means being able to do meaningful work they can see is making a difference. And I think there's a social aspect to it, today.” Many workers want to know that the work they do is important to the public as well as the company.
That’s why corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives can make an impact on recruitment and retention. Tech companies need to continue their focus on societal benefits at the same time as their business. The flip side of this coin is also true — when companies are weak in these areas, that can make other employers more appealing.
What about traditional pay and benefits? These were typically the top priority for baby boomers, and our survey showed that they still are. But younger, more transient workers want to feel valued in ways that go beyond traditional rewards — including flexible work and development opportunities.
What's keeping you at your current organization
Overall, Gen Z respondents prioritize a sense of value, along with positive change like work flexibility, advancement and development opportunities. They aren’t afraid of change — they want to make it work for them. How can tech companies make sure that their brightest prospects see value and opportunities within the organization?
Workforces in technology
The value of mentorship
Mentorship can play an important role in tech companies. Many young employees have always worked remotely, and might not have formed strong personal relationships to keep them connected to their employers. Mentorship can help improve employee engagement — the ability to interact with other employees in meaningful ways.
It can be difficult to build engagement in a remote work environment, but it’s an important part of retaining workers who no longer list traditional pay and benefits as their top priorities. When tech companies offer personal connections, mentorship and clear guidance, it can help them win in the fight to keep the best and most innovative young talent.
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