Technical professionals like developers, designers, QAs, and BAs are a hot commodity. As the number of businesses seeking out technology solutions to streamline their business processes has increased, so has the demand for the technologists to implement those solutions. As such, hiring — and more importantly, retaining — knowledgeable and highly skilled technical talent is more crucial, and difficult, than ever. We even have an entire department dedicated to recruiting the best talent.
So, how can companies looking to boost their technical teams ensure that they stay boosted? We’ve found that the answer lies beyond simply offering table stakes benefits like a strong work/life balance, attractive PTO package, and other expected perks.
The answer lies in how much you invest in your people.
Behind every happy developer is a company that invests in its people and their environment. A comfortable workplace is generally a top priority for people and is fundamental to employee satisfaction. Think about it; people spend over 40 hours a week in their workplace. Why shouldn’t it be a place where they feel appreciated, valued, and invested? We strive to create that enjoyable workplace by encouraging collaboration, personal and professional growth, continued education, and open communication. This encouragement isn’t just some superficial thing we like to tout, though. We devote ample resources to nurturing people’s learning and growth in their fields. Our teams are empowered to attend as many trainings, conferences, classes, and networking groups as they can.
The core of our business is providing software solutions to our clients. In order to achieve this, we rely on our most valuable asset — the common trust in each other’s knowledge and abilities that our technologists share with one another. From cross-training sessions between our mobile and web teams to internal AWS workshops, we’ve fostered a knowledge-sharing network for all of our colleagues to learn from one another. There are no closed doors for those willing to learn and develop. We also look outward to the wider technological community for learning opportunities by hosting conferences and organizing guest lectures. Additionally, many of our technical staff members are experienced presenters at external conferences and events as well as our own such as DevTalks and Elevate Design.
Lay Out Clear Career Paths
These trainings and educational opportunities all ladder up to the goal of advancing the careers of our technologists. Or, in the case of our internship program, kickstarting their careers. Yes, we want them to deliver the best possible software products to our clients. But, we also want them to find the best possible career path they can as well. Our specialists are eager to progress and take on new challenges — going from junior to senior team members and from interns to long-standing veterans in the industry.
Encouraging opportunities in a preferred career track shows that a company genuinely believes in the higher potential of all of its employees. Every company’s goal should be to create a structure for advancing the careers of its staff. This allows employees to visualize opportunities and milestones within their current company, rather than look elsewhere at their competitors for a way out and up the career ladder.
At MentorMate, we make good on that goal. By providing internal job fairs to personal mentorship from senior-level personnel and leads, we keep a dialogue open about career advancement opportunities.
Foster As Many Learning Opportunities As Possible
In addition to our internal MentorMate trainings, we also provide step-by-step assistance in completing course certifications and encouraging people to host lectures of their own. Our internal trainings and Mentor Academy programs offer in-depth live coaching on practical essentials like client communication, task delegation, mentoring, and design fundamentals. This ever-expanding toolset of expertise helps elevate the professional development of our colleagues.
Additionally, we hone the technical and leadership skills of recent graduates as soon as they join our company. This develops trust and sets benchmarks for transparency, open communication, and reliability. Our thorough onboarding process also provides further on-the-job experience and helps define one’s immediate task delegations and goals.
Recognize A Job Well Done
Giving employees recognition for their efforts makes them feel appreciated, integrated into the company, and is more likely to boost their performance and partnership with the rest of the team. But, given how quickly things move in the tech world, management is often left with little time to go out of their way and congratulate an employee on a job well done. To break that, we’ve built a platform that allows anyone in the company — including management — to give a colleague kudos for a job well done. Appropriately, we’ve dubbed this platform Kudos. From remarks for winning an award to thank you notes for holding a lecture to recognizing one’s extra efforts within a specific project, Kudos allows people to receive recognition in real-time.
Build Trust and Form A Close-Knit Community
At the end of the day, it’s our shared philosophy that retaining and rewarding our talent is more valuable than finding a top-tier replacement. This belief goes hand in hand with our ambitions to excel in everything we do. As a community-driven company, we’ve long realized that serving global leaders and entrepreneurs could only be justified if we turn our pillars of integrity and honesty towards our own people — starting with our leadership.
“While all of the above efforts related to investing in our people is something that we’re proud of and continue to evolve, it is one intangible factor that I believe is the glue that sticks us all together: caring,” says Stefan Tzanev, VP of Operations. “The entire leadership team here in Bulgaria is comprised of technical people, myself included. We were all developers prior to taking on management roles. We care about our team members and treating them fairly and with respect is always our top priority.”
Our efforts were recognized this September when our team in Bulgaria received five awards as part of the top IT employers awards. We were honored to receive first place in “Using Technologies in Recruiting”, second place in “Employer of the public” and “Eco Employer” and third place in “Best Team Building Event” and “Best IT Employer.”
By building a welcoming company culture with open communication and collaboration, career advancement opportunities, and employee recognition, we’ve minimized turnover and retained our highly-talented technical staff. While this formula works well for us, it’s constantly evolving. We revisit our processes often and are always looking for ways in which we can finetune things to keep our teams intact and our technologists happy.