Monthly Archives: March 2018

Focus Group Discussion – Attraction and Retention – March 2018

Attraction and Retention

What do you do to attract and retain good skilled computer professionals?  What makes your company special compared to the others in the area?

Paid training and certification – The brain is a sponge..

Grand Rapids based managed service company provides paid training and certifications.  They pay for the actual training and also the test expenses.  In addition, they allow for coursework study during business hours.

When I interview candidates, one of the questions I ask is “What are the top 3 most important benefits to you when considering a new opportunity?”  At least half of the candidates I talk to are always striving to learn more, whether it’s professionally or independently.

Flexible hours – Doctor’s visits, children’s sports, school functions.  There are not enough hours in a day!

I have a lakeshore based client who offers remote work / WFH options two days out of the week.  This flexibility attracts more talent from outside the lakeshore area.

Another Holland based client is very open to hiring talent to work a nontraditional work schedule.  A couple of years ago they hired in a candidate who wanted to work while finishing school.  They hired him as a FTE (employed 30 hours per week) and were able to work with him and his class schedule.  Win win for everyone!

Weekend hours (3 12 hour shifts) for full time students (in support roles) is being offered by a tech company in GR.

Balance – When the economic downturn happened in 2008, many companies decided to/had to run lean.  That was a common theme at that time.  Over the last 10 years we’ve gotten accustomed to “job enhancement” (aka: extra roles and responsibilities) and it’s been somewhat of a challenge to try and restore balance in the workplace.  Very few have perfected it, but everyone wants it.

One responder states that their company makes it a point to provide a healthy work life balance and staff projects accordingly to help maintain that balance.

I have another GR based client who offers unlimited PTO (as long as it’s not taken advantage of and projects are completed on time).  Since this benefit has been in place, it has been successful.

Variety is the spice of life – no one wants to be bored!

A local consulting firm makes it a point to provide interesting tasks and offers a variety of projects.  The majority of technical professionals want to be challenged.  Give it to them!

Collaboration and cross training is also beneficial for both employee and employer

Wage increases – A growing GR based company has had to raise the base wage for entry level technical staff and increase wages among their current employees.

One growing Grand Rapids tech company attributes their attraction/retention to a fully stocked kitchen, flexible hours, certification support, advancement encouragement, tuition reimbursement, quarterly bonuses and a startup culture.

I’ve come across the fully stocked kitchen with several of my clients.  GREAT benefit!  (For them) Super happy I don’t work there though… I love to snack and would be as big as a house.  Ha!

Foosball, open work spaces, video games, quiet rooms, coffee bars, and comfy seating/couches are becoming more popular as well.

Retention techniques will continue to transform as the challenge to find great technical talent continues.  Stand out.  Set yourself apart.  Be unique.