by Stuart Day, EU Director

It’s a question that leaves many employers scratching their heads: why do workers at tech startups and scaleups quit? According to new research, many leave their jobs to get away from a negative work culture or bad management.

The ISL Retention Report – Tech Scaleups 2019 revealed that 80% of people who had left a tech role in the previous four months had done so because they wanted to escape the working environment they found themselves in.

But the survey, which questioned almost 200 people about what influenced their decision to leave their jobs, also revealed that they take up new positions based on salary, not culture.

Tech has a turnover problem

The stats show that employee turnover in the tech industry is high. According to theAldermore Future Attitudes report, one in three businesses said more employees had left in 2018 compared to the previous year, while 56% of employees feel their company struggles to retain IT talent.

The evidence doesn’t end there. Recent research by LinkedIn showed that IT and software has the highest rate of employee turnover, with just 18% of developers staying at the same company for more than four years!

What do startup employees look for in a role?

When it comes to culture and management style, 81% said their team and colleague dynamic was most important, 80% cited the impact of their manager on their happiness at work, while 79% agreed that the management style of their line manager was key.

As well as analysing why people leave a role, the survey also looked at what people look for in a new role. A total 83% of those questioned said the salary and rewards package was most important, while 78% said that career progression and development were top of their list of considerations. (Flexible working is also high on the agenda: according to the research, four out of five of tech workers agreed that flexible working was key to a good work-life balance.)

How can startups compete with large companies?

The focus placed on salary might not feel like great news for startups and scaleups. But while they may struggle to compete with larger companies in terms of salary, there are other ways of attracting and retaining talent!

The study proves that if companies create a good working culture and offer career development opportunities, they have a better chance of retaining employees. It’s not that people leave a role because they are on a lower salary – instead, they are looking for a more exciting place to work, and one that fits with how they see themselves as individuals.

This means companies of any size can gain a competitive edge by putting people policies at the heart of what they do. Investing in the happiness and well-being of staff helps any business keep hold of talented employees.

Talent is passionate about shaping the future of work and working with highly innovative tech startups. We aim to inspire the startups we work with to provide their employees with the best possible environment, so they can retain the talent they need to grow and thrive.

If you are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd in how you recruit and retain tech talent, get in touch today!