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4 Tips to Motivate and Retain IT Talents 

June 28, 2021

By Vahid Haghzare, Director Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment &

Victor Chen, Senior Recruiter, Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment 


An IT recruiter in Asia shares advice on increasing employee retention, especially among IT top talents. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastating impacts on many jobs all over the world. For example, in Asia-Pacific (APAC), at least one in four workers plans to transfer to other companies or change careers once the pandemic is over. This is a concerning issue because an employee turnover could result in significant risk in financial and time investments. For instance, many jobs in Hong Kong, Singapore, and China have performed less productive due to employee turnover and job mismatch. 

IT proved to be important in the business. As a result, employers are greatly challenged to inspire, motivate, and keep top IT performers in their company. As effective leaders, we must be adaptive to the trend in the industry and strive hard to pursue opportunities during changing times. The following are top strategies in retaining IT talents in the workforce. 

1.Effective IT Leadership: Focus on Employee Engagement 

IT talents know that there is a growing demand for their expertise. Leaders must keep up on valuing these talents by attracting, motivating, and inspiring them to choose your company. It is important to remember that people don’t leave organizations. They leave managers or ineffective leaders. Hence, improve yourself as an appropriate leader as you want your people to be improved. 
People engage and are motivated differently. But leaders are role models of engagement and this can influence employees in various ways. The following are the three areas that engagement-focused leaders' practice: 


  • They want their people to grow and excel in their fields. 
  • They focused and value relationships because this is fundamental for performance and loyalty. 
  • They promote a positive organizational culture. Even in a remote organization, culture is crucial, and how leaders enrich and sustain a culture that people want to work in. 

2.Encourage employee growth – in all aspects. 

Studies show that people tend to leave if they are not learning and growing in their careers. That is why leaders must list this in the priority list. We have to motivate and support our talents who want to pursue career and skills enhancement, especially if doing so benefits the organization’s performance. Therefore, be an opportunity-minded leader who encourages growth in all directions. 

Some leaders avoid or neglect these kinds of conversations, worrying their IT talent may ask for a promotion that is not available yet or is not the right fit for them. However, leaders must be mindful that career growth is not just about promotions or moving up in the organizational ranks. It is also about being adept and adaptive to the rapid changes in technology. IT talents have plenty of opportunities for learning and growth. Top talents are worth the investment, so leaders have to retain them to avoid losing that part of the investment. 

IT companies or leaders must also take into account that in IT, moving up often means moving into management. But once they are appointed for such roles, they will often realize that such work routines are not for them. As a result, they will likely look for opportunities to other companies because stepping down or being back to their previous job position might imply that they are demoted. 

If you’re stuck on how to get those conversations off the ground, here’s a quick tool from Bev to get you started. Think of the word LEVER: 


  • Lateral: How might they move across instead of up? 
  • Enrichment: Can you do something in their current job to help them feel like they’re growing vertically? 
  • Vertical: What is the next step up—and what are the pros and cons of a vertical move? 
  • Exploratory: Is there a short-term assignment or gig they can take on to get a sense of whether a move or opportunity is right for them? 
  • Realignment: There’s a lot of talent hoarding in IT, but keeping your best people from opportunities won’t keep them with you, at least not for long. 

3.Don’t be a Jerk: Avoid Micromanagement and Listen to your People. 

Studying employees’ exit interviews and reasons for resigning reveal that top talents leave the job not because they do not see enough opportunities in the company but because their boss is acting like a jerk. 

Being a jerk could mean various ways, but it is actually more about the subtle behaviors that leaders/managers tend to exhibit among their employees. For instance, failing to listen and micromanaging the team could impose a demotivating atmosphere. Overworking employees or belittling someone in front of their peers is another reason that could affect employee performance and confidence. Hence the decrease of trust and open communication in the organization. 

Some common employee concerns that leaders failed to recognize include their inability to engage and hear the ideas of their people. Leaders who are resistant to change or do not consider their ideas for improvement frustrate talented people. These people also want valuable feedback from their boss so they can appropriately avoid, align, or shift risk before it’s too late. 

Talented people studied for years, specialized in the field, and have a whole set of skills in them, but ‘jerk’ bosses seem to neglect their suggestions for improvement, which affect employee motivation and their innovative capabilities. When their voices for improvement are not heard, less progress tends to be made. Therefore, affecting their self-esteem or even losing interest to impart more creativity in their tasks. Effective leaders valued employee contributions and recognized their accomplishments. 

4.Promote and Foster a Positive Corporate Culture 

A surprising thing about retaining employees is that the number one reason they stay is not always about their pay but the kind of culture that the organization has. That’s why effective leaders aim to compete on culture, not only in providing competitive salaries. 

Leadership behavior heavily influences people in promoting a positive culture. At SVA Recruitment, IT recruiters make sure to foster growth and positive culture in their IT talents to retain employees

Knowing how to appreciate small things, paying attention to employees’ needs, and understanding their situations are just some of the many simple things to motivate and develop top talents. Preserving the interest and well-being of the employee is crucial to the organization’s success. 

Oftentimes, the main reason an employee leaves an organization and the primary reason they join an organization are the same: career opportunity and growth. Employees are demotivated when they feel unrecognized and undervalued. Both tangible and intangible motivators may factor, such as job satisfaction, salary, and workplace conditions. Having an opportunity to work more conveniently with a competitive salary in a remote and hybrid workforce setting allows IT talents to have more options than their previous or current employment. As recruitment experts say, you will pay if they don’t stay. 




Silicon Valley Associates is ideally positioned to support the continual demand from tech companies and IT Departments looking to hire in Hong Kong, Asia, and Worldwide. Please let us know if you would further advise on the above topic or your hiring needs


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