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Why developers stayed in their roles in 2023 and how businesses can take measures to keep them in 2024.

In the fast-paced world of tech recruitment, Blake Thompson, the Tech Recruitment Manager at The Candidate, finds himself at the crossroads of talent and opportunity. Armed with a portfolio of skilled developers ready to take the next leap in their careers, he also holds a lengthy list of clients eagerly seeking top-tier talent to enhance their teams. In this article, Blake delves into the intriguing stories of developers and teams that have not only attracted but successfully retained their valuable tech talent. Against the backdrop of a persistent shortage of skilled developers in the northern regions, the narrative unfolds with insights into the reasons behind this retention success.


The Shifting Dynamics Since 2020:

As the demand for skilled developers continues to escalate, the job market has undergone significant transformations since 2020. A noticeable trend emerges as a substantial number of developers have embarked on job transitions, seeking opportunities aligning with their professional aspirations and values. Notably, a statistical shift in the skills gap worldwide has been observed, indicating a decrease from 76% in 2021 to 66% in 2022, highlighting the evolving dynamics of the tech talent landscape.

                           Tech Recruitment Manchester

                             Blake Thompson, Tech Recruitment Manager

Key Reasons Developers Choose to Stay:

Development opportunities:

Many developers I speak to value the opportunity for professional advancement within their current organizations. Companies that invest in career development programs, provide clear paths for progression, and foster a culture of continuous learning are more likely to retain top talent. The prospect of skill development and career elevation motivates developers to stay committed to their current roles.


Support and Work-Life Balance (WLB):

Unfortunately, most of the developers on my books are job seeking because they have been working in a business that has got this wrong and they have experienced burnout.

‘’UK employers are losing around £45 billion and 17 million working days due to employees' stress, depression and anxiety.’’

A supportive work environment and a healthy work-life balance are pivotal in retaining developers. Companies that prioritize employee well-being, mental health, and offer flexible work arrangements are more likely to retain their workforce. Developers appreciate employers who understand the importance of maintaining equilibrium between professional and personal life.


Competitive Salary and Benefits:

Compensation remains a significant factor in the decision-making process for developers. A competitive salary, along with comprehensive benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses, can contribute to the overall satisfaction and contentment of developers, making them more inclined to stay with their current employers. Glassdoor specialise benchmarking for salaries across the UK and this can demonstrate further how salary isn’t always the most important factor in job satisfaction.


The flexibility to work remotely or choose flexible working hours has become increasingly important to developers. Companies that recognize and accommodate diverse work styles and preferences are better positioned to retain their talent. The ability to adapt to a changing work landscape and offer remote work options can significantly influence a developer's decision to stay.

I have found that across the board this has got better but also it is now a hard selling point if a role is office based, as my candidates have such a wide range of fully remote and hybrid roles to chose from. I would often suggest that after a probation period that a business would try to offer some sort of flexible working option as a minimum.


Challenge and Excitement:

Developers are motivated by challenging and engaging projects that allow them to apply their skills and creativity. Companies that provide intellectually stimulating work and diverse projects keep developers excited and invested in their roles. The opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies and solve complex problems contributes to a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.

This is high on the list, many of the developers I represent ended up developing because of their love of Tech and nothing excites them more than being up to date and at the forefront of what’s on offer. So businesses that invest in keeping on top of technology and trial new softwares etc will keep their developers interested.


Good Team Dynamics and Culture:

 A positive team culture and effective team dynamics play a crucial role in retaining developers. A collaborative and inclusive work environment, where individuals feel heard and appreciated, fosters a sense of belonging. Developers are more likely to stay with companies that prioritize team cohesion, open communication, and a positive workplace culture.

This has been exposed massively in the last 4 years where we have seen more remote and hybrid jobs and it has shown that culture and teams aren’t just an office. Again each developers idea of good culture and teams is different so it is important that businesses spend time understanding what fits their teams and making it work for them to help maintain good talent.


In conclusion, the shortage of developers in the north has fueled a competitive job market, with many professionals exploring new opportunities. However, companies that prioritize factors such as growth opportunities, support, competitive compensation, flexibility, challenging projects, and a positive work culture are better positioned to retain their valuable developer talent in 2024 and beyond.


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