Hiring engineers isn’t easy. You put in the time and effort to find, vet, and interview good candidates before you hire them. Then, you give them access to your innermost secrets and let them into your codebase—only to see them get poached away from you by the competition! A few months of work can be gone in an instant! 

A good engineer can make or break a company as they’re often the most talented people at any organization. They’re in high demand by recruiters especially today when COVID-19 made it a struggle to retain talent; making them prime targets for poaching. It can be difficult to keep your best engineers around when they know there are many available opportunities outside your organization, but it’s not impossible. 

How to Get Started

Before going into a frenzy of adopting all the best practices you find online, it’s important to analyze how things are within your organization first. Your business is unique so you must come up with preventive measures that are suited to your specific needs. To identify these needs, you must:

Determine Your Top Performers

To protect yourself from losing your top performers, you first need to know who they are. You can start identifying these individuals by asking yourself two questions: 

  1. Who has been with your company for more than a year? 
  2. Who is performing exceptionally well? 

Each of these employees should be clearly labeled and treated as a potential future leader in your organization.

It is a business imperative for every manager to know their top engineers! There are many ways of determining who they are but always keep in mind to use objective data. Using an objective approach is the most convenient and efficient way to determine your top engineers without playing favorites. 

Perform Competitive Analysis

Next is to keep your eyes on the competition. Most businesses have competitors that are fighting for customers and sales in nearly every industry. And even if you don’t see them as competitors, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going after some of your top talents. 

If you are unaware of their offers to the talent they’re after, then you’ll have no way to know if you’re offering competitive benefits to your current employees yourself. You might have the worst compensation package in your industry – and without performing competitive analysis, you won’t know for sure! You are at risk of losing your best employees by inaction. By gathering relevant information, you can be strategic about improving your benefits and allocating your resources. 

Hold Exit Interviews

Should an employee decide to leave, make sure to ask whether or not he or she had been happy with your company. Also, ask why they’re considering leaving. This will allow you to address any performance issues before it’s too late. 

Exit interviews can be the most telling business tool. Even if you can’t retain all of your employees, knowing what turned them off to your organization will help you improve and address these concerns in future recruitment efforts.

5 Preventive Measures You Can Take

Being proactive with your efforts in retaining top talent will do wonders for your organization. This ensures that your employees are valued, engaged, and will reduce the chances of them leaving you for a competitor. Here are some preventive measures you can take to keep your star performers from getting poached.

Competitive Salary and Benefits 

If you want to keep top talent, it’s important to make sure they are satisfied with the compensation they are receiving for their labor. However, simply offering a good salary may not be enough – recruiters will often try to lure your employees away using other perks like relocation packages and stock options.

A compensation package can be the sole and largest factor for an employee when deciding to take or leave a role. As much as they might love working with and for you, when a competitor is offering a substantial amount of monetary compensation for the same workload, you might not stand a chance. 

To help you come up with a competitive benefits package, here are some ideal benefits you can review to either add or improve: 

  • Medical Insurance 
  • Life Insurance 
  • Short and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Plans

Offering these benefits on top of a competitive salary reduces the likelihood of your employees leaving for a competitor. 

Great Workplace Culture 

If you have great workplace culture, it’s probably pretty easy to keep your best engineers around. Of course, now and then you might lose someone to a better offer—but with a strong workplace culture, most of your top performers will stay with you. 

So what is a great work culture? It varies depending on who you ask. But one thing’s for sure; if your employees love working there, they won’t be looking elsewhere anytime soon. Focus on creating a work environment that fosters inclusivity, personal and professional growth, and camaraderie. 

Remember that anyone would want a workplace where they feel valued and proud to work in! Increasing an employee’s job satisfaction and engagement is imperative in retaining your top performers. 

Employee Recognition

Recognizing your employees for a job well done is a great way to keep them motivated and onboard. Make sure to take time to celebrate not only their accomplishments but also their personality traits; you’ll want your employees to feel comfortable in your company so they don’t feel inclined to leave. 

This strategy can be specifically beneficial in keeping your top performers. Even simple recognition programs such as “employee of the month” can help boost employee satisfaction. Incorporate monetary incentives along with your praise too, if you can!


Introducing new and unique perks to working in your organization can go a long way in increasing employee satisfaction. These usually don’t cost much but have a significant effect on retaining employees. Here are some ideas you might be interested in adopting: 

  • Workplace amenities
  • Break room snacks and refreshments
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Casual dress codes
  • Team building programs
  • Rest and relaxation (R&R) packages
  • Gym memberships
  • Mentorship programs

Keep Your Employees Engaged

This might sound counterintuitive, but when your employees are having fun at work, and it’s a common environment where they feel like their skills and experience can grow, they’re less likely to leave. If they aren’t having fun or feeling challenged in their current position, employees take a hard look at whether your company is holding them back or not. 

Keep yourself open to your employees’ ideas! They might be communicating that they want to learn new things, be involved in office improvement initiatives, or get a diverse workload. When they voice out suggestions, it means they are engaged with the work they do. 

In today’s competitive recruiting landscape, one of the biggest contributing factors to a high turnover is disengagement. When your employees could not care less about the work they do, they’ll be seeking more exciting jobs and interesting endeavors. Engaged employees produce high-quality work. On the other hand, disengagement is contagious.

You Can Prevent Poaching

If you’re tired of constantly hiring engineers all the time, reverse the trend of your competitors poaching your top performers. Be proactive in keeping your best employees. Don’t wait until it’s too late. But keep in mind that it is practically impossible to stop all turnover from happening and some of it is good for your organization. 


If your team needs high-caliber engineers, Agile WorkPlace Staffing can help! With our sourcing capabilities, hiring engineers has never been this easy. We can connect you with the best engineers in any industry for any of your job vacancies.

Leave the recruiting to us! And when you do, you can focus on taking proactive steps in building meaningful relationships with your employees and creating a fun and engaging workplace. Our team of experienced recruiters and business consultants will help you build life-long collaborations with the engineers we connect you with. Contact us today!