The War for Talent in the Information Industry: 3 Retention Strategies

Featured Image for The War for Talent in the Information Industry: 3 Retention Strategies

As the war for talent rages on, HR leaders can expect increased wage growth in the information industry and should therefore consider fortifying their retention strategies to stay competitive. In the ADP® Q3 Workforce Vitality Report, Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute, said that "employees in the information industry are experiencing some of the highest growth in wages, while overall employment growth in this area is relatively slow." So with Q4 WVR data available for comparison, it's clear that those two dynamics continue unabated.

Wage growth for full-time workers in the information industry was 5.1 percent for job holders and 6.7 percent for job switchers during Q4 2016, with year-over-year employment growth of 0.2 percent, according to data from the Q4 WVR. This wage trend is "fueled by a war for talent among information industry employers who are increasing wages to attract and retain top talent," Yildirmaz says.

Yet, over the past five months the industry has seen slight decreases in employment, according to the ADP January National Employment Report® (NER).

With the same trends reflected across WVR and NER, HR leaders can hone their retention strategies and reduce attrition. Here are three ways to tackle the situation:

1. Increase Wages

The fact that job switchers have a clear advantage in wage growth across the information industry squares with the fact that the industry's labor market is tightening. Employers in the information industry are paying up to retain their employees, and as competition increases, overall wages are increasing as a result. Wage growth in the industry shows that this is a strategy many employers are using.

2. Provide Unique, Compelling Benefits

Core benefits, whether healthcare, dental coverage or retirement plans, are essential to stay competitive, but attractive and unique fringe benefits packages can make a company stand out when a prospect has several options, especially in an industry friendly to job seekers. For example, an on-site fitness center complete with guided classes can allow fitness-minded employees to incorporate physical well-being into their workday in a way that can be difficult to pass up. Tuition reimbursement programs for employee dependents can be an effective way to build a strong culture, encourage engagement and reduce attrition.

3. Ensure Employee Happiness

Employee happiness is crucial to building and maintaining loyalty. Stress in the workplace doesn't just impede workplace productivity; it can also lead to health problems including cardiovascular disease and poor mental health, according to The Atlantic. Stress is often an unavoidable component of certain jobs, but by making employees' time at work as pleasant as possible and instituting clear policies that promote work-life balance, employers can boost overall happiness and engagement.

Building strong mechanisms for retention first requires reasonable compensation. But salary only goes so far, and employers who provide a comprehensive, attractive suite of benefits can set a company apart. Combined with a work environment that minimizes stress and prioritizes balance, employers can help set themselves apart from the competition and better retain their employees.