The “Great Resignation” is attracting a lot of buzz right now, with millions of Americans reportedly quitting their current positions to pursue something better. But what counts as “something better”? What do workers want out of their next employer—particularly technologists?
As part of its Q3 2021 analysis, SlashData asked developers about changing employers. Roughly half said they’d jump to a new company in exchange for higher compensation, and 33 percent indicated they’d do so for better benefits. But as the following visualization demonstrates, lots of other potential factors would drive developers to walk out the door, including a chance at career advancement and an improved company culture:
SlashData’s data underscores the findings of similar surveys over the years: Technologists care deeply about things like work-life balance and company culture, and they’re more than willing to leave their current employer if their needs aren’t being met. “There are well-documented issues with culture in software development—there have been several high-profile cases of discriminatory working environments in the last few years, and many software developers are no strangers to long hours, especially as a project nears completion,” reads the note accompanying the SlashData results.
“Employers should therefore ensure that the working environment is safe and inclusive as a bare minimum, but also consider how the company culture contributes to the health and wellbeing of employers in other ways,” the note continued.
Workers in mid-career are potentially more inclined to jump jobs: an analysis by the Harvard Business Review found that resignation rates were highest among employees between the ages of 30 and 45. With 10-25 years of experience and skills, they’re more likely to have leverage in negotiations with new employers over work conditions and salary.
A recent study of workforce data by Visier Benchmarks found that technologists were particularly inclined to resign. “While resignations actually decreased slightly in industries such as manufacturing and finance, 3.6 percent more health care employees quit their jobs than in the previous year, and in tech, resignations increased by 4.5 percent,” read the analysis by study leader Ian Cook.
For managers and executives, the lesson in here is clear: When it comes to retaining technologists, it’s not just about money. Companies must provide everything from great training opportunities to work-life balance if they want to keep their most valuable employees onboard. And for technologists, the “Great Resignation” potentially provides a bit of leverage in negotiations: If you know how to ask for it, chances are good that you can get what you want.