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Companies entice engineers to stay

Posted: 16 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vital signs? EE Times survey? entice engineers?

How does a company keep its engineers from seeking greener pastures? What makes an organization the kind of place an engineer wants to work? An EE Times survey of semiconductor suppliers found varying engineer turnover rates, from a high of 12 percent a year at Actel Corp. to less than 1 percent at Renesas Technology Corp. Analog Devices Inc.'s rate was close to the survey's 7 percent average, reported as 7.5 percent the past few years when the market was growing, up from 3 or 4 percent the previous few years.

Interviews show that most companies control as many workplace variables as they can to minimize turnover. They also show that engineers change jobs in many cases because they want more excitement, better recognition or greater opportunity than they believe they can get from their current employer. Sometimes they are simply turned off by factors their employer cannot control.

If an employer does right by an engineer through the first two or three years of employment, the chances of long-term retention increase, said Joe Javorski, director of worldwide staffing for Analog Devices. "This includes all of those things that contribute to workers' wanting to stay," he said: good communication, good compensation, good leadership, good products and good strategic vision.

"I call it 'managing the transition,' " Javorski said. "If you take care of that, other things take over. All of these are plans, not just happenstance."

What methods does your company use to retain engineers as employees?

Companies said they retain employees by setting the stage for them to find professional opportunity, satisfaction, reward and growth. They keep engineers close to the excitement of solving problems and creating products, and try to minimize everything else. They reduce attrition by controlling factors that would give engineers cause to look elsewhere for work.

"It's pretty basic," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an outplacement consulting firm.

"It comes down to making people feel valued and recognized, and creating a place where they get meaning out of their work." Companies today recognize the need to make the workplace a community that speaks to employees on both a social and a professional level.

What methods does your company use to retain engineers?

What methods does your company use to retain engineers? (Click to view full image)

What methods does your company use to hire an engineer?

What method have you found most effective when hiring an engineer?

What methods does your company use to hire an engineer? (Click to view full image)

What method have you found most effective when hiring an engineer? (Click to view full image)

How long does it typically take your company to replace an engineer?

How long does it take for a newly hired engineer to be productive at your company?

How long does it typically take your company to replace an engineer? (Click to view full image)

How long does it take for a newly hired engineer to be productive at your company? (Click to view full image)





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