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Tech Scaleup Employees Leave Due to Work Culture and Accept New Roles Based on Salary


Employees working for tech startups and scaleups leave their jobs because of work culture or bad management and take positions based on salary, a new report (published 29/04) has revealed.

The ISL Retention Report – Tech Scaleups 2019 surveyed nearly 200 people who had left their post in the previous four months and found that more than three quarters (80%) cited the working environment as the key reason.

Line management played a significant role in the decision as 79% also stated their direct manager had a major impact on their happiness at work, while 77% said a lack of career progression was also a significant reason.

However, 83% said that salary and rewards package was most important in their decision making around taking another role.

The report, produced by tech and engineering specialist recruitment firm ISL, also shows that flexible working remains high on the agenda alongside remuneration, with 80% claiming this would be a significant factor in their decision to jump ship.

Alan Furley, director of ISL, said:

“Securing the best talent is pivotal for scaleups to deliver on their vision, yet 90% of STEM-based businesses struggle to recruit staff.

“The process of recruitment can be long and resource heavy, so once you have good talent you need to ensure you keep them.

“Our survey shows that for startups and scaleups they will be competing against higher salaries, potentially often from bigger companies, and so investing in their culture becomes more important than ever.”

Dom Hallas, executive director of the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec, wrote the foreword for the report.

He said:

“We routinely listen to startup and scaleup founders explain how difficult it is to first find the right person with the right skills, and then actually hire and keep them in post.

“Not being able to find the right talent not only directly impedes on the growth of individual startups/scaleups, but it also costs the wider UK economy approximately £63 billion a year in lost GDP.

“Recruiting and retaining skilled workers go together. And both must be addressed in order for startups to grow into scaleups and for scaleups to grow into unicorns. As the battle for talent intensifies, the return on investment from being able to hold onto skilled employees will play an ever-greater role in determining the winners from the losers.

“The important part about this report is that it examines a deeper question – the additional burden placed on startups/scaleups, as the outsized demand for skilled labour now requires employers to go beyond standard recruiting strategies, to add staff retention as a key priority for their growth strategies.”

To download a copy of the full report click here: