Consortia's UX recruitment team conducts hundreds of exit interviews every month, and, using that feedback, we often consult with businesses on how best to retain their top talent.
We are about to take you through the pointers our consultants have heard from the horse's mouth on keeping your UX talent happy. If you don't have time for an in-depth read today, you can always call us for a free consultation with one of our UX recruitment team members!
1) Forge strong relationships quickly
One of the most frustrating situations we've found for both candidate and client has been where a strong relationship hasn't forged well within the first few weeks. Considering the value of first impressions within a workplace, you need to work hard to live up to the expectations of your new employee. Ill feelings can escalate quickly, impacting relationships if expectations aren't met, and it's often where we see rapid exits from staff.
2) Don't oversell the dream.
The number one reason candidates cited a poor fit for a business and where relationships broke down was that projects or needs were over-sold at the interview. Having a candid conversation early on is a two-way street between UX professionals and you or the interviewers. Our advice to clients has always been to represent the current business culture, not the future vision and be upfront with how mature UX and design is currently within the business.
One of our UX specialist consultants, Jessica, says, 'I speak to a lot of candidates, and some are happy to go into a company where UX isn't necessarily that well established as they like the challenge. Or feel one of their key skills is engaging with stakeholders, so they'd like the opportunity to push back on their ideas, but many others feel like they don't want to have to prove their work.'
By being upfront, you are more likely to find the most appropriate UX candidate for a role. That also leads us to the point below.
3) Gain UX buy-in across the business:
A lack of understanding from the broader leadership team can still sometimes be an issue even in today's climate, despite how long UX design has been around. Some leadership roles within UX will involve a fair amount of persuasion, pushing the value of UX design within a firm to ensure continued growth.
However, we have heard feedback from those leaving senior and midweight level UX roles that they felt exasperated at the need to influence and convince stakeholders every step of the way. Being a good UX designer doesn't necessarily equate to being a naturally talented spin doctor and isn't something all of our UXers particularly aspire to do.
Inability to sell the benefits of UX internally not only leads to overwhelming disappointment from being undervalued, but it also means the UX faction doesn't grow. These factors together can cause a UX team implosion as demand outstrips capacity and morale nose dives.
Avoid seeing your UX team run for the hills by ensuring everyone understands the value-added from improved user experience.
4) Engage and challenge.
On a freelance basis, User Experience professionals want to feel part of the team and impact the project.
If contractors have their wings clipped and cannot affect change or feel left on the bench, they will naturally move on to a new project. Provide an environment where they can become an integral part of the project and facilitate real change. Long-term contracts with four-week notice periods are what we'd advise to retain the best UX talent within the contract market.
However, it is also vital to give permanent user experience professionals exciting projects to keep them engaged within the permanent market. 'Many candidates are saying how much they want to see a direct impact to the user and how they want their work to be meaningful.' Jessica points out.
But we often hear of freelancers being presented with interesting new projects while permanent staff get handed the business as usual tasks. This way of working is counterintuitive to keeping your permanent team happy, as most UX professionals will want to work on challenging projects and keep their skills up to date.
5) Provide development opportunities
Keeping your employees engaged is key to ensuring that they stay with you. So please provide them with opportunities for continuous learning and personal growth. As a business, it's essential to hire qualified individuals and keep them interested in what they're doing.
6) Advertise internally
Advertising positions internally before going out to market and having a structured learning and development programme were key reasons people stayed in their permanent UX position for longer.
Mercer provided insight into this recently, and apparently, employees' perceptions of their capacity for future success are a massive factor in whether or not they stay with the company. Mercer's research found that those who don't believe there is anything left to achieve at their current jobs were 12 times more likely to leave- and new hires would be about 30x as likely!
7) Offer attractive benefits.
Where the previous case was more money equals more talent, this has changed dramatically over the years. Offering an excellent salary or daily rate isn't the only thing UX professionals are looking for now. The top in-demand benefit we get asked about tends to be flexibility in remote working and working hours. While companies find it is a delicate balance to manage Agile working with asynchronous methods, if you can manage to make it work, providing this as an option will give you the upper hand in attracting and retaining the best talent.
Closely tailing flexible working and working from home in importance came the length of annual leave. Unlimited holidays being top of the list!
8) Conduct internal interviews:
Consider whether there are cracks behind the seemingly happy and healthy UX workforce. Reality isn't always as it seems.
Allowing people to express their workplace likes and dislikes across various topics from management to environment and culture will help identify weaknesses and strengths across the company. But just as no one likes a Linkedin poll that doesn't use the data, nor do staff when the results don't create change. Use the information you find to fill the gaps and make fundamental changes that your UX staff can see.
Every company is different, and your employees hold the key to understanding how to improve areas in the business which are critical for employee happiness and retention.
Consortia is a leading UX recruitment company that specialises in delivering top-tier user experience talent to the world's largest companies. Our niche approach allows our UX recruiters to know their market in incredible detail, and we're able to provide accurate salary benchmarks. We know each role's industry standard salary; from a level-entry UI UX Designer salary to a Head of Design salary.
Whether you require assistance drafting a Lead UX Designer job description or need Senior UX Designer salary information, contact us for an instant response from one of our team members.