Category: TM8 Recruitment Blog – insights and tips

Reduce your Developer staff turnover rates

Reducing your Developer staff turnover

I may be kicking myself for writing this but despite the fact that we earn fees for sourcing and placing candidates with clients, I very much prefer to see customers reduce your developer staff turnover, and I want the candidates we work with to be happy and stay for the long haul at the companies we place them in. In this article I focus on permanent hires as opposed to contractors, yet this applies to retaining good contractors as well.


Money isn’t everything but if you’re not in the ballpark, you’re selling your company short. It will be very difficult to attract talented people, and even more difficult to retain them if the compensation you offer is on the lower side. Sorry to say it, but recruiters like me are constantly on the phones calling, mailing and connecting with local tech talent for our clients. Job satisfaction and salary are two of the main drivers as to why someone decides to part ways, and we have clients willing to pay top salaries for top talent. If you won’t pay, they’ll go away!

Low salary offerings are often a product of a lack of market awareness. This is especially true for companies who aren’t local and don’t fully understand a highly competitive and candidate-driven marketplace. “Keeping up with the Joneses” really rings true here. If you’re not familiar with the going salaries for your vacant developer (or any) positions in certain regions, there are some great tools online like Payscale or Glassdoor and most good recruiters who work in the niche should be able to assist you. We recommend going on the higher end of the scale if you’re serious about retention. If you need consultation on this for the western Canadian market, let us know we’d be happy to help.


Most tech companies we work with have GREAT perks! Flexible hours, work from home options (might become necessary with Coronavirus concerns), snacks, weekly lunches, extra time off, gaming tables, cool team events or even a beer fridge for team time events in the office. Great perks can make or break retention and even hiring. If you’re not providing great perks to your team, it’s time you rethink this if you want to attract and retain talent in this highly competitive industry.

Communication is key

Communication and transparency with your Dev team needs to be more than a monthly check in. Get to know them. Take them for lunch a few times a quarter, find out if there is anything you can do to promote job satisfaction. Find out if there are any roadblocks they face or struggles they might be experiencing.

At TM8, we regularly check in with both candidates and customers after a placement. We want to know the satisfaction from both sides, any issues, any concerns and anything we can help build the bridge with if there is something amiss. We look to be a bridge between parties and having a 3rd party involved takes the pressure off of both sides. We are working on behalf of both sides here.

Communication is key

Give them insight into the long term vision

Another important way to reduce your Developer staff turnover rate is to give them a long term vision. Since development is based on cycles and there’s always an urgent project on the go and another upcoming, it’s easy to neglect regularly communicating the long term vision with your Dev team. Although this vision can and does change with market forces, new target markets, and sometimes changes in direction, it is paramount to continuously keep your team up to date with the long term vision of your software and company.

Developers often get caught up in the “Hype Cycle” and the latest technologies that will change everything. That rival company down street might be onto that new technology. From Ruby on Rails, to Angular, to the next big thing, developers can get swayed by wanting to seek out new challenges and technologies to feed their incessant need for learning and growth. Stay up to speed on these trends and see if there might be a way to incorporate them into your development plans. Keep it fresh!

It’s more than just a pat on the back

Don’t get me wrong, a pat on the back and declaration of a job well done is certainly welcome and needed to give your developers a sense of accomplishment and appreciation in their work and efforts. If you really want to reduce your Developer staff turnover; bonuses, annual salary bumps, additional time off and other incentives should be a mainstay of your retention landscape.

At the end of the day, it’s not easy recruiting top talent. Moreover, retaining that top talent when you do manage to on-board is another challenge altogether. Creating an incentive driven-and positive environment in order for your development team to flourish is essential in order to reduce staff turnover.


If you’re interested in getting further insight into reducing your developer staff turnover, or want to connect with us on some of the premier developer talent and careers we have available, contact us on or (604)540-3532

Tips for employers on working with external recruitment agencies

Here are a few important tips on working with external recruitment agencies.

A) Pay close attention to the questions they ask you regarding the position and your company during your meeting with them. If you are not comfortable that the recruiter did a thorough job analysis with you and asked questions not only pertaining to the job, but also about your business, your management style, the culture at your company, or anything else you deem important, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere.

B) If you start receiving a large number of resumes from your recruiter, and many of them are really not what you are looking for, be on alert. Some recruiters will send anything they have that’s even close, hoping something will stick. Maybe give them some feedback that they have missed the mark and where they missed it. If things don’t improve, it might be time to move on to a new source.

C) Specialized Recruitment Firms are recommended. If you have a position for say, a VP of Sales, then look for a recruitment firm that specializes in Sales Recruitment. Generalist recruiters can often do a decent job for lower or mid level roles but specialized recruiters will have the network, the industry knowledge and moreover, will be able to better recognize the most talented people in their (and your) area of expertise. They will have determined processes, have created finely tuned questions to ask candidates, and have a deeper understanding of what’s important to the role.

D) It’s generally accepted that if you are working with a recruiter, then you should probably allow them some time to find someone for the vacancy before opening the file up to other recruitment firms. If you are in desperate need to find someone quickly and feel it’s necessary to use more than one recruitment company, then it’s a good idea to inform all parties you are working with multiple firms on the role. From the recruiter’s standpoint, they are investing a lot on time, money and resources to help you with this hire. If you let them know the situation in advance, it won’t cause negativity if they don’t fill the order for you, especially if they are working on a contingency basis.

As a Business Leader, When Should We Use the Services of a Recruitment Agency?

There are a number of instances when it makes sense to utilize a recruitment agency for an open position within your company.

1. The vacant position is vitally important to the success of your company.

Senior positions such as the C-Suite, VP level as well as Senior Sales, Operations, or Product Development roles for example, are so vitally important to the success of your company that it would only make good business sense to have additional resources dedicated to finding the best possible candidate for the vacancy.

Most companies have someone internal or a team that is responsible for the recruitment function and most of them do a pretty good job, and likely do an excellent job. Yet, a business leader who is personally responsible for the department the hire will end up working in, has to ask themselves this question: Am I 100% confident that our internal recruitment team is going to find (or has found) the best possible candidate for this position?

Now, it is possible that they have found the best candidate for the position in question. It is also possible (or even probable) that there are some passive candidates in a recruiters network who might be even better fits for the role in question.

2. You don’t have the resources or the time to recruit properly for the opening.

Some companies just don’t have the time or resources to do a proper search themselves. A Recruitment Agency specializes in sourcing, screening, and qualifying high-quality candidates for a company and doing it quickly. They have not only resources, large networks but expertise and should have the ability to recognize the most talented people for your organization.

3. The role requires a specific skill set or background that is hard to find without “head hunting” or targeting specific skills from similar businesses.

This one might be quite obvious, but you’re not likely to want to pick up the phone and call your competitor’s office to see if someone wants to come and work for you. A Recruiter can do this for you if it’s deemed that industry knowledge/experience/expertise/past success is vital to the role and people coming from other industries notoriously fail in your environment.

You should keep in mind though, and this one can get quite sticky, and if it becomes apparent or the industry grapevine gets wind that your company is having a recruiter “headhunt” their talent, there may be negative perceptions in the industry in general as a result. A good recruiter should be able to keep the lid on this for you, until the candidate has some interest in learning more about the opportunity and is unlikely to inform his current employer of the communication.

4. The opening needs to be filled immediately.

Recruiters have large networks of people and the wherewithal to get your job vacancy in front of a large audience in a short time, or at least they should be able to. If you need someone immediately, say to replace someone who unexpectedly left, a recruiter is probably your best bet.

5. Your company doesn’t have a great network or are fairly new in the local market.

Recruitment Agencies do more than just find candidates for you. They also help to positively brand your company to their candidate pool. Many strong candidates are often wary of the new company on the block and would prefer to work at a larger, more recognized brand within their industry. Having a reputable Recruitment Agency represent your company to a prospective candidate in a positive light can be the difference between a candidate accepting a job offer and moving on to perceived greener and more comfortable pastures.

Trent Mason, BAAs Featured On EzineArticles

President & Senior Recruiter

TM8 Recruitment