Why do employees who are happy in their role still consider other job opportunities when presented to them?
Not because we recruiters have super human powers of persuasion.
Believe me we’re nothing to be scared of in that department.
The key reason passive candidates (aka happy employees) will look at other roles is if they feel there’s a greater opportunity for advancement with another employer.
I know, they tell me this all the time, particularly in an employee friendly market.
What does your next role look like with your current employer? Is the path forward clear?
If you’re an IT Manager do you know the potential career path for each of your team and have you given them the plan and the tools on how to get there?
If as an employee you can see the path before you and it’s attractive, why would you bother even reading the pesky LinkedIn messages from people like me offering other roles? It wouldn’t be worth your time. You’re comfortable with the pathway mapped out before you.
So if you’re an IT Manager wanting to retain staff, the challenge is to be close enough with each team member to know what skills they want to learn and what role they are keen to pursue. Then work with them to put a training plan in place to gradually help them learn new skills appropriate for the path they’re on. It’s the employees that are truly wanting promotion and are engaged in the process of up-skilling that are the growth minded ones you really don’t want to lose. Yet too often skills are hired in from outside the organisation because there’s not the processes in place to up-skill these growth minded individuals, before the position becomes available.
Let’s say you’re an IT support person and looking to move into a Sys Admin role one day. How do you stand out from the crowd and be the next one to be promoted?
Think about it from your IT manager’s point of view. He or she will want someone that is capable and passionate to do the role. Make it easy for them to pick you.
Show them you understand what the role entails, that you’ve been skilling up in those key technical areas and that you already get on well with the existing Sys Admins and shadow them from time to time, to gain more relevant skills. Importantly, ask the manager what they need, what the critical issues are and KPI’s required for the role. Purely relying on your existing excellent performance in support is not a good indicator that you’re the right fit for a Sys Admin role. In fact, sometimes you can be so good in your current role there may be a reluctance to move you into a different role. Only by being proactive about skilling up and showing your interest to learn about the desired new position will you ever get the visibility with your manager to be seriously considered for it.
It’s a dance that needs to happen between IT Manager and team member, but if ignored will mean that even happy employees become susceptible to other job opportunities.