Why Does Tech Have Such High Turnover?

The IT industry has always been notorious for high turnover rates. Many of the largest tech companies (in particular, Amazon and Google) have been shown to top the lists of employee churn. With the tech industry being as profitable as it is, this begs the question: why are employees so eager to move on?  It turns out that it may be because the industry is growing so incredibly fast.

New Opportunities Around Every Corner

Gone are the days of company loyalty. Decades ago, an individual could often be expected to spend their entire lives with a single corporation. In return, the company would offer more benefits to the employee, and the employee would continue to work hard and grow as a professional. Today’s tech employees, however, have no particular loyalties. There are new opportunities at higher rates of pay or with better benefits around every corner. And because so many tech companies offer these benefits right out of the gate, there’s no reason for these youthful employees to stick around and build a relationship with the company. As the tech industry grows and expands, the problem only becomes larger. There are more jobs available and these jobs are all courting a particularly fickle demographic.

The Consequences of Churn and Burn

Of course, the problem doesn’t exist solely within the employees. Tech employers have been known for “churn and burn” tactics; working talented employees until they’re entirely burned out and then replacing them with new, fresh minds. Even Google’s notoriously extensive benefits packages have been criticized in the past; many believe that the stress-reducing luxuries of the Google offices are only designed to lure employees into working even harder and for longer.

From an employer’s perspective, employees who are in their 20s are more motivated to give back. They are fresh out of school and have energy to burn; they don’t have children yet or a mortgage hanging over their head. Tech companies, thus, don’t have a particularly vested interest in keeping their employees into seniority. Many tech companies run on young blood, especially startups.

The Problem of Talent Retention

Just because the problem makes sense doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem. The average tenure for a tech employee is presently five years, and that means that companies need to invest in the costly process of re-training and re-hiring on a consistent basis. Though they may ultimately gain a boost by working employees to the bone, there’s also something to be said for the productivity and efficiency offered by a loyal employee. And that’s led many tech companies to wonder what they can do to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Seniority and tenure will need have proper incentives if job-hopping is to be discouraged, and this is something that modern tech companies simply haven’t implemented yet. Moreover, the change would have to be industry wide if it has any hope of actually taking effect. Until then, employees will continue to seek out new and interesting opportunities, especially when the stress of their current job has gotten them down. If your business wants to improve employee retention and retain the best in IT talent, contact us today at Software Specialists.

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