How to increase your company’s attrition rate

You did read that right! and it wasn’t a writing mistake. The title of this post is, in fact, how to increase a company’s attrition rate. Earlier today, I saw a post on Twitter that caught my attention. It was a tweet about people leaving a company for another due to a 30%+ increase in compensation.

It caught my eye because this is happening more and more these days. It’s nothing new, but the attrition rate at many tech companies has recently increased at a faster pace. Many people think it is part of the great resignation.

People leaving jobs to get better compensation is nothing new. Switching jobs is a common way to get a higher position and higher compensation. But why? It doesn’t make sense. But in general, companies focus and invest more in hiring new talent than retaining employees. As a result, companies spend a lot of money attracting new employees, recruiting, signing bonuses, etc. While increasing salaries by a few percentage points and fewer stock options for existing employees, why? Yes, I agree. It makes zero sense. And I feel like no one wins here, nor the employees or the companies.

I am familiar with the amount of time and money invested in recruiting new employees, specifically tech talent. It’s not easy. It takes time and money and is a big distraction for any company since their most senior engineers often direct interviews for new candidates. However, these very senior engineers will then go to another job because their compensation (base salary + stock + bonuses) is either stagnant or increases a few percentage points every year.

In the tech industry, when you switch jobs, often your compensation will increase by at least 20%, that has been my own experience, but I am sure it varies a lot. The point is, a compensation increase of 10% or more is not something most people experience. Therefore they end up moving to other companies. Sometimes companies who will not increase employee’s compensation significantly, are the same companies who will offer much higher compensation to convince someone new to join them…

When you hire a new employee, it takes time to get them for them to get familiar with the company, the team, and the work before they are efficient. And again, after a few years, if these employees don’t feel fairly compensated, they will leave for another job. Employees switching jobs is normal, but what’s not normal is allowing good employees who like their careers to seek other employment to achieve a higher compensation. At the same time, the company invests a lot of money and time hiring to replace leaving employees and fill new positions.

I understand that many people leave their jobs looking for a better culture, challenging new opportunities, and a better work-life balance. Still, in this case, it’s really about more compensation, something that more and more employees have in mind now, especially with the higher inflation rates.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

As a kid, this is something we are asked often, and often we have an answer for this – an astronaut, a firefighter, a policeman, a pilot, a veterinarian. However, is there anything more complicated to answer than this as an adult? Think about it. The question makes you think about your education, work, hobbies, your life.

Are you doing what you love?

Why is this hard to answer? It reminds us of the things we love and that we are not doing. It’s hard to realize and accept that we are not following our dreams and are not on the right path to achieve them either. It’s always easier to avoid thinking about this and continue to do what we are doing.

I don’t know about you, but I am not doing anything remotely to what a veterinarian does. That’s what I said I wanted to be when I grew up. But it’s also true that I don’t want to be a veterinarian today. My goals and dreams grew as I grew older.

Life takes you to places you didn’t even imagine when you were a kid. Sometimes you are lucky and have more support available to you as an adult to pursue what you said you wanted to be, but you often don’t. Instead, life necessities get on the way, and you work doing something that pays the bills but that you don’t love or like at all.

This is fine, as long as you keep your dreams in front of you, as long as you still have your North Star, it’s okay to do what you need to do while you work on getting to where you want to be one day.

Avoid doing the same thing while expecting different results. If you are not progressing towards your dream of becoming something else, then you are on the edge of insanity, as Einstein said…

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

Overtime our goals evolve, we evolve, and it is essential to check with ourselves about this question again and again. What do you want to be when you grow up? This has nothing to do with age; it’s more about what you want to be doing next, on the next phase of your life. I’d expect that most people’s answers to this question will continue to change.

If one day you ask this question and the answer is equal or similar to what you are doing, and this doesn’t change in the future, you’ve arrived at a place in your life where you are contemptuous with who you are what you are doing. Congratulations, you are in the minority.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Ask yourself this question often, and make the necessary adjustments to your life if what you are doing is not what you want to be doing. Our time is finite, and it’s easy to go through life without stopping to see if what we are doing is what we love.

We go through life worrying about our family, paying bills, global pandemics, wars, social media, the latest Netflix series, etc. But in comparison, spend very little time and effort on our North Star, which is ironic because this is where we have real influence and the possibility of change.

It takes patience and consistency. It is necessary to have clarity of mind, passion, hard work, and luck. However, the thing with luck is that the more patient you are, the more consistent you are, and the harder you work towards your goals, the greater the surface area of luck you’d have.

Am I doing what I want to be doing today?

Not yet, but I am close. It has taken me years of work, luck, learning, and perseverance, but I am not doing what I wish I was doing professionally 100% of the time, not yet. But I am happy, and this is because I know I am on the right path to achieve it. There is more learning to do, more focus, and more luck.

What about you? What do you want to be in the future?

*North Star: It’s a metaphor. Your North Star is your personal mission statement. It’s a fixed destination that you can depend on in your life as the world changes around you.

How to find great developers.

In response to those companies, hiring managers, interviewers who keep asking the same question:

Where can I find great developers?

A developer becomes a “great developer” when the company, team, resources, projects, recognition, etc., are compatible with that person. Under that logic, I believe any programmer can be great if they desire to do so and find the environment and motivation to thrive.

Most technical interviews fail to find the right people because interviewers and hiring managers usually go at it with an “idea” of what a “great developer” looks like to them. In most cases, everyone ends up hiring people who don’t work out and miss out on people who could have become the “great developers” there were looking for in the first place.