How to retain your digital talent

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The Growth rate of Digital and technology is phenomenal. There are more start-ups and skill shortages in the market than you could shake a stick at right now.

So, what is the biggest issue that all of my clients are facing? RETENTION!

As you can imagine, I speak with a harem of disgruntled candidates every day that are not happy in their jobs for one reason or another. Then on the other foot, I have a plethora of my clients that come to me when they have lost someone to a competitor and need to fill that skills gap pretty sharpish! So I see this issue from both sides of the fence, as I tight rope walk in between trying to find the best solution for everyone.

Some of the main reasons we see for digital candidates looking to leave their job are:

  • Lack of development and mentoring
  • Overworked and stressed to the max
  • The reality of the role vs what was promised doesn’t match up
  • No career progression
  • Clash with other employees / manager
  • Want More money & more responsibility

In saying this however, there are an ever increasing % of digital candidates that are happy in their job and company but if a great opportunity comes along, they are more than likely ALWAYS willing to take a look. This is especially so in Digital over and above many other sectors I would say.

How Can Companies Retain their employees?

I feel that growing personal relationships with your teams and maintaining a good culture during rapid growth of any Digital business is key.

Forget Rules, Get personal and Get out:

Getting to know your employees outside of the office and encouraging them to get to know each other is key. Being on top of days away, parties and other social gatherings are invaluable to get to know who you work with and develop solid relationships as a team and business.

Collaboration and Creative thinking:

Introducing creative projects that each employee can get involved with where they can share them with the team helps create a really inclusive business that is focused on entrepreneurial thinking and innovation. (and in digital if you aren’t innovative or entrepreneurial then you better stay at home.)

Allow an environment where your staff’s ideas on bettering the business are listened to and implemented into the wider business – be that from product, to blogging, to workflow … the imagination is endless.

This ties in nicely to encouraging them to engage with the brand they work for so any activity where they can be involved in the brand, is always a good thing as it breeds loyalty.

Hire great managers:

A great manager is the master of helping that person grow, develop, learn and be motivated in their job. With ever increasing workloads … it’s a great manager that can offer that empathetic ear to their team and be the primary connection to shape their perception of a business, their job and to help create a path for progression that is completely aligned with that person’s next step.

It’s a great managers duty to see their employees talents and nurture them within the confines of the business they work in. Ofcourse this isnt always possible depending on the strategy of each company, but at least they can act as the conduit to try manage their team’s expectations and try come up with a resolve to keep them happy and engaged.

Encourage diversity:

With the growing skills shortage in Australia within digital, companies need to think outside of the box and encourage new skills from other countries and nationalities.

In think as a rule of thumb we do that pretty well here … with half of my clients having employees from the UK. USA, Canada, India, Singapore, Japan, Germany, France … etc.

This diversity should be celebrated within the company as be used as a selling point for the culture and help set you apart...especially when attracting new talent to join.


Getting the culture right is HUGE! Having an inclusive, open and innovative company culture is key within the Digital World. Creating a reward culture and one that offers a clear progression path is a must.

It's crucial that there are no rivalry or office politics and that your teams are working with each other and not against each other!

Especially in a start up environment, it only takes one person with an EGO to ruin the culture of a business. You have to get that mix of ambition and passion mixed with a big spoonful of humbleness.

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