Why developers leave: 8 reasons

    There is such a phrase, “No matter how well you raise a child, he will still have something to say to his psychoanalyst.” The same can be said about working with employees. No matter how well you work in the company, your employees will have something to say about the reasons for leaving the interview - this is normal. But risks can always be minimized, and the life of an employee within the company can be increased.

    We decided to analyze the main reasons for the departure of developers from previous places. This is not an in-depth study, but a short-term section in the moment: we looked at 175 notes based on the results of communication with the developers, who process at different stages of our projects, selected the most vivid statements and grouped them into eight topics.

    On each topic, there are recommendations for representatives of companies and employees that will help the two sides either establish cooperation or part with minimal negative consequences.

    Unsupervised Workflows

    The leader of our selection. It occurs in more than 60% of the reasons when changing jobs. The peculiarity is that this is a fairly broad concept, which includes management errors, software flaws, lack of specialists to implement the tasks.

    “He left his last job at the end of last year, now I am engaged in custom development. "The development team had very few employees, for a long time they could not find the right people, because of which there were problems with work processes."
    “Well-structured workflows have long been lacking in the current place: there is not enough testing department, all tasks have to be done constantly in a short time without deep immersion, teams do not have time to write autotests.”
    “There is no one who could correctly build processes, many things have to be redone. Not enough specifics, I would like to work in a competent team and consult with colleagues in professional matters. ”
    If you are an employer and want to understand how outgoing employees perceive work processes in the company, use the exit interview. It can be either personal or in the form of a survey. Its essence is to clarify the reasons for leaving through such questions: “what convinced you to switch to another company?”, “Did you have enough resources to work?”, “What will you miss in the new workplace?”. It is recommended to conduct such an interview when the company owes nothing to the employee (salary paid, work record given) so that the employee does not think that his answers may affect payments or other bonuses from the company.

    If you are a developer, clarify with the management before dismissal, what is the reason for the inefficiency of work processes, how can this be fixed. When interviewing new companies, you may be asked questions like: “did you try to somehow influence this?” Or “did you speak with the management on this topic?” To understand how active you are in case of problems.

    Management Issues

    For this reason, there is a phrase that has bothered: “They come to work in the company, but leave the head.” We will supplement it: “they leave the leader, several managers or the entire top management”. This is a process that cannot be influenced. For example, due to a change in senior management, the general strategy of the company changes, a new positioning in the market occurs, so the company can respond with an outflow of employees even without the desire of management to optimize the team itself.
    “I don’t see support from the management regarding changes and innovations (for example, connecting testers at the time of architectural planning). Together with the team we are trying to establish processes. When I first came to the company, there was not enough experience and knowledge, but now the mess has become obvious: the attitude of the leadership demotivates. "
    “I began to consider something new for myself, because they are not satisfied with the processes in the current place: the Project manager commits with the management for certain periods, but does not take into account the opinion of the developers.”
    “I decided to look for work, because in the current place there are a lot of internal changes at the top management level, which entail the departure of developers by entire teams.”
    If you are an employer , work on feedback tools. And accept the fact that in the event of a change of charismatic leader, part of the team may leave with him.

    If you are a developer , try not to make a harsh decision to quit when rumors about a change of leadership - see how this actually affects the processes in the company. But for peace of mind, the labor market can always be monitored.

    Company financial problems

    Probably the only reason for leaving, which does not cause additional questions for new employers, if the candidate is not a commercial director, or even the founder of the project, of course.
    “I decided to do a job search because starting from the new year, the company started having difficulties with paying salaries. Unfortunately, they began to focus not on the quality of the product, but on the speed of release of new features, and reduced the testers department. Initially, there were 10 developers in the team, now there are only 3-4 people left. ”
    “The company does not have a better situation with the business part, they don’t buy the developed solution, but I don’t want to write the code“ on the table ”.”
    If you are an employer , budget and budget again! Try not to hire 60 developers at the beginning of the year, so that by the end of the year

    you’ll reduce 50. If you are a developer , you should know that the labor code says: “In case of delayed payment of wages for more than 15 days, the employee has the right to notify the employer in writing, suspend work for the entire period until payment of the delayed amount. " During the suspension of work, you may be absent from your workplace during your working hours, for example, for an interview at a new place of work.

    Unfulfilled promises: expectations / reality

    Sometimes at an interview so that the candidate accepts the offer, the hiring managers can embellish the current situation or promise very attractive tasks / projects. If the choice of work will take place only on a critical criterion, then, in the absence of it, the candidate will immediately be dismissed. Therefore, experienced hiring managers are in no hurry to embellish work processes or tasks, but even talk about the difficulties that they face in their work, so that the candidate clearly understands what he agrees to, and the team does not suffer because of staff turnover.
    “She left Company X due to the fact that the new mobile development department in the Moscow office was put to the completion of the old project, although initially they promised to develop a new one. Our American colleagues were given a new application. ”

    “I decided to do a job search because a strong team and interesting tasks were promised in the current place, but as a result, the development department began to disband, many developers managed to leave, and the work processes were unimpaired. Initially, the team consisted of 11 people on the front end, now 7 people remain. ”
    “I liked the work in terms of tasks, but the initial agreements on the conditions were not respected, which is why I had to change my job.”
    If you are an employer , do not make promises that are impossible to keep or they have an extremely low probability to come true. For example, if you plan to open an office in the USA, but for this event it is necessary to overcome a certain threshold of profit, just tell the candidate: “We will open an office in the USA if we fulfill the sales plan by at least 90%.” It’s not necessary to open all the numbers, enough transparency.

    If you are a developer , it will be more difficult to know the real working conditions and the degree of attractiveness of the tasks. Some companies arrange test days with subsequent payment, some within the framework of the test task allow you to feel the technology on the project - this is the best option if you are not sure that expectations and reality will converge. Word of mouth may help, but it is advisable to rely on several sources.

    Desire to change working conditions

    The criterion, which, in the case of company inflexibility, becomes the final point in the decision to change jobs.
    “I work remotely, I don’t have enough teamwork, I would like to find an interesting job in the office, I want more motivation, sharing experience with colleagues and more involvement in the process.”
    “The company cannot provide official employment, which also affected the change of work.”
    “Several times a week I had to call up with colleagues from the United States on work issues, and because of the time difference, I had to stay late until work late, which also didn’t work.”
    “I decided to leave my last place of work last month because of the constant processing on weekends and frequent rush jobs.”
    If you are an employer , your main assistants are the formalization and flexible start of the day. If you cannot guarantee constant remote work, then you can make a certain number of days remotely per week or month. A free work schedule allows employees to do personal work without sacrificing work processes. Although one of our examples above, the developer was just looking for work in the office - each candidate has his own set of requirements for the employer. And yes, warn about recycling if it happens.

    If you are a developer , look for a job that matches your needs. If in a conservative structure it is possible to influence the flexibility of working hours, then certainly not the remoteness of work.

    Professional Development

    The most positive reason developers are changing jobs. But they frighten off some employers who think something like the following: “Oh, and he won’t be bored with us? will suddenly leave in a few months? ” And it’s good if they think so, because in most cases it is obvious that the candidate and the tasks are not suitable for each other.
    “In general, everything suits me at the current place, but there is not enough professional development. Interesting is work in a financial company, which is why I liked the proposed position. ”
    “I'm working on project X related to robotics. I decided to search, because now I’m only working on the backend and there’s no one to learn from. ”

    “He was looking for work, because I would like to work on a more interesting project, with which it was possible to develop together professionally, performing more complex and interesting tasks. Now the project is at the stage of stagnation, there will not be any global tasks in the near future. ”
    “I have been working in company X for 2 years. I’m developing both iOS and Android applications, which is not very convenient, because I originally came to iOS and would like to develop more in this direction. ”
    If you are an employer , discuss at the interview stage how the developer sees his development. Whether he needs a mentor, internal mitaps, access to courses or literature, what technologies he wants to study or wants to pump in management - knowing this, you can create comfortable conditions for development, and, therefore, for work.

    If you are a candidate , decide which way you want to move, what to study and how, and look for it with the future employer. Enough for you new technologies on the project or need a more lecture presentation.

    Coding VS Management

    The reason for leaving, which, when management wins, becomes critical. It is found mainly among leading developers and team leaders - not everyone is ready to improve in the experience of managing a team.
    “I came to the company as a team to yet another QA, but the mentoring did not last long - after 2 months I was left alone with three projects. She herself picked up tools for solving problems and looked for information. Then she became a leading tester, now the team already has 5 people. But such growth was more a necessity than a genuine desire: now I’m looking for positions without working with a team, because I want to develop technically. ”

    “Performing the role of the lead team that is engaged in video services. The ratio of tasks is approximately 50/50 (writing code / responsibilities of the lead - distribution of tasks, review). Now I want coding to prevail. ”
    “The team was very small and consisted of one backend and one frontend developer, two content managers were often connected to the work. Initially engaged in the development of three sites of online stores, a little later, four more online stores appeared. He left the company because he realized that he likes to be engaged in development rather than management tasks. In addition, management has begun to put KPI sales in the development department. ”
    If you are an employer : conduct internal career discussions to understand where the employee wants to grow. Even if you cannot change the working conditions, you will be ready for the potential departure of the developer.

    If you are a developer , try to quickly convey what you don't like to the leadership. If you like the new lead role, but you doubt yourself, conferences or mitaps for team leaders, for example, TeamLead Conf, will help you.

    Uninteresting tasks / scope

    Associated with this reason is the favorite term of social networks: burnout. But we would call it a leap in professional development: when you begin to perform complex tasks on automation and you feel that every day the thought works less and less.
    “He worked on the application with planned payments, on a new feature with a personal financial manager and was engaged in supporting the old code. He left because he was transferred to a team that was engaged in a hybrid application, and it was not very interesting, there was little work, they wrote the native code that transmitted the data and got bored. "
    “I decided to leave company X, now I am transferring projects. I’m a little tired of banking products, plus I don’t always see the involvement of colleagues. ”
    “I work for company X and consider offers. The current project, which led the past two years, has implemented all the functionality and new tasks are not expected. ”
    If you are an employer and cannot offer new projects and tasks, you can only rejoice that a strong specialist has grown in your company.

    If you are a candidate and understand that it is getting boring, discuss with your manager what new tasks can give you a job - if there are no tasks, then there is no choice, get ready for a smooth transition to a new company. What is undesirable to do: to consider without talking with the leadership that you have no options for growth - only an open conversation will be able to put everything in its place.

    Instead of output

    Rarely do employees change jobs for one reason. Very often, initially agreeing with any offer and knowing about the lack of a future job (inconvenient location of the office or the need for rework), the candidate balances it with advantages: growth opportunity, non-trivial tasks or a highly professional team. But as soon as the minuses begin to exceed the pluses (it turns out that there is nowhere to grow more, an interesting project replaces the routine), then monitoring of the labor market begins. Therefore, the reasons for leaving sound something like this: “large-scale tasks are not foreseen and I don’t feel the involvement of the team,” “they do not index salaries and a complete mess in work processes,” “I want to learn new technologies, but I'm tired of the current sphere”. This, as we said at the beginning of the article, is inevitable, but not irreparable.

    Katerina Gavrilova, founder of DigitalHR recruiting agency

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