Eli Reifman explains how to keep the tech talent happy
"How can you depend on the loyalty of high-tech employees if they're all selling themselves for money?" asks Emblaze founder Eli Reifman.
"How can you depend on the loyalty of high-tech employees if they're all selling themselves for money?" asks Emblaze founder Eli Reifman, speaking at a conference Monday marking the 25th anniversary of recruitment firm CPS.
Recruiting today is all about pay and options, he says, and hates it. "It's terrible. The focus should be on things that really encourage workers to stay in the organization - and it's not about the money," Reifman argued. The conference addressed the pressing high-tech concern: worker churn.
Employees at Emblaze on average last 4.5 years, Reifman says, and in the general sector it is even less. How to make them stay? High-tech workers are blase about raises and bonuses, Reifman said, if they are dissatisfied with other job aspects. Money won't compensate for working in a basement. "If you have promised a raise without instilling the need to belong to a successful organization, you have done nothing. If you held a meeting and didn't given each participant an opportunity to speak, why should they stay?"
Few managers, Reifman said, maintain an open-door policy. They should be accessible, and remember that dungeons are depressing. "Instead of employees sitting in a stuffy bunker with neon lighting, let them enjoy sunlight. Just as a man needs to think about why his family needs him when he gets up in the morning, managers need to think every day about how to meet the psychological needs of the firm's employees."
Reifman also scoffed at the habit of profit worship: "To say that the purpose of a company is to maximize profits is like saying that the purpose of my wife is to be excellent in the kitchen. It's shallow. Anyone who says this is also willing to employ children in Malaysia for $3 [a day]. TheMarker has attacked me on this stance, but I emphasized that profit is not the purpose, but merely a derivative, of a company that takes care of its employees."