Let’s start this post by giving you some answers: the tech sector has the highest attrition rate in the world (13,5%). It is followed by Retail & Consumer Products (13%), and Media and Entertainment (11,4%). 

Among the industries within Technology (Software), the sectors with the highest turnover rates are: 

  1. Computer Games (15,5%);
  2. Internet (14,9%);
  3. Computer Software (13,3%);
  4. IT & Services 13%);
  5. E-Learning (11,6%).

That said, we can tell why all the tech leadership around the US is so pressingly concerned. The high attrition rates in the IT community are real and must be taken seriously. Otherwise, the loss to the American employers will be bigger by the day. 

The good news is that software experts all around the world are telling companies what they want in order to have a healthier work environment

Stay with me and let’s discuss root causes and how to act against the high attrition rates in the IT industry. Shall we? 

What are the root causes of high attrition rates in IT?

According to The Dice 2020 Tech Salary Report, the main reasons why tech employees leave their jobs are:

  1. Seeking higher compensation (71%);
  2. Looking for better working conditions (47%);
  3. Searching more responsibility (32%).

However, those are not the main root causes of the high attrition rate in IT. Those are symptoms of larger, systemic problems caused over the years. We’ll list them in the following lines. 

1. Poor management and poor training 

As stated by go2HR, 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year. They cite the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on

It’s a tough nut to crack. Too much time spent on training can jeopardize your employees’ daily output and the integration within their function and teamwork. On the other hand, too little time to be trained may leave the talent feeling unprepared and lost to perform the essential duties of the job.

That’s why good onboarding strategies and longer periods of transition between training and independent job performance are pointed out as such good ideas. That’s what you should aim for. 

As they say, people leave managers, not companies. And here we have a cycle: unless your leadership is taking proper training – on how to manage teams, emotional intelligence, and soft skills – hardly you’ll be prepared to embrace top performers as well.

2. Inaccurate job profiles

Your job descriptions should be a paper draft of the real person – in this case, talent – you want to see in front of you.  

When employers don’t take time and care in writing down a good hiring profile, that speaks faithfully about the job position, the risks of disappointment – and turnover, of course – are high

It goes wrong on both sides:

  1. You may hire someone who doesn’t match with your company’s mindset and culture, or even that don’t have the right skill-set for the position.
  2. The talents may go all the way for an opportunity that, in reality, is not what they wanted for, contributing to the high attrition rates in the IT industry.

3. Snowball effect 

I’m sure the snowball effect is pretty clear on your mind. According to psychologists, we tend to frequently base our decisions on other people’s actions

When it comes to the high attrition rates in the IT industry, though, it makes real sense. This sector is all about innovation and better manners of doing things we’ve been doing a certain way for a long time without even questioning why.

This shift of conscience came hard on old school employers, and some of them are still trying to reinvent themselves – which is the right thing to do, by the way. 

However, it takes time, and sometimes having help is a more profitable way to do so. So you can consider finding a partner to adapt to this new work environment in IT. 

Interested to know more? Then read our article on “Best practices in building high-performing distributed teams“. I’m sure you’ll find good answers on how to find world-class software experts within the help of a partner – and maintain them in your company! 😉 


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