The success of the tech industry is, in many ways, directly connected to the caliber of talent it employs to start, grow, and evolve new ideas into our current standards of living and working.
That talent isn’t just a function of skill, either. It’s a matter of innovation and ingenuity that makes some of the most successful names in technology the industry titans they are today. Of course, while many of these companies are competing with one another for customers or market share, they also lose and gain team members to each other more frequently than you might realize.
We studied over 23,000 internal transitions and nearly 8,000 external transitions in the tech industry over more than a decade to determine which companies have had the most growth, which are losing the most talent, which transitions are the most common, and what the average cost of retention versus acquisition is. We even looked at tenure in some of the biggest companies to determine how long the average employee stays without transitioning to a new role before moving to another company. Curious to see what we uncovered about companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple? Read on to find out.
When it comes to networking talent between some of the leading tech companies, Microsoft reigns supreme as having the most direct connections with other companies. This networking relationship is symbiotic and can denote new talent from rival companies or the loss of talent for one reason or another. Microsoft had over 850 company connections of the nearly 8,000 tech industry transitions we studied, including competing corporations like Google, Apple, and Nike. Of those connections, over 500 employees joined from 399 different companies, and just over 1,800 employees left for 454 different companies.
Cisco had 385 connections to other brand names like VMware, Salesforce, and Box. While the number of companies employees came from and left for were roughly equal according to our analysis, they had 314 employees joining compared to 807 leaving. Over the last three years Cisco’s rank as a purveyor of the top talent in the tech industry has fallen from an all-time 17th place in March 2013 to 94th as of March 2016. VMware, Salesforce, and Box ranked among the top 54 companies for quality talent.
Google and Amazon also ranked among the top networked brands with over 200 connections each. Both had more incoming than outgoing talent.
Common Company Transitions
While many of the top companies, like Microsoft, Google, and Apple, each had hundreds of talent transitions to and from their brand, some transitions were more common than others.
Talent transfers from Microsoft to Amazon ranked as No. 1, with approximately 504 individuals opting to continue their career growth with the online giant over the PC heavyweight. In fact, transitions from Microsoft to Google ranked as our second most common career conversion, with 213 employees choosing to switch teams. Microsoft employees were also likely to leave their current employer for Facebook, Salesforce, and Cisco.
Microsoft did have one occurrence of talent growth, however, from Amazon (157 employee acquisitions).
Some other common transitions included Cisco employees moving on to VMware (116 transfers), and team members from Amazon leaving for Google (99 transfers).
The Cost for Good Tech Talent
Picking up new talent isn’t cheap. Some companies were willing to spend more when it came to growing their workplace roster. Netflix spent more than 10 times that of any other corporation we looked at. To grow its team, it gave incoming employees on average of over 166 percent pay increase, , acquiring talent from companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, and PayPal.
Other big spenders looking to develop and evolve their teams increased incoming salaries by 37-48 percent. These companies included Microsoft, Groupon, and Akamia Technologies.
While bringing on new talent can be costly, promoting internal talent isn’t free either. Internal promotions, regular merit increases, and other competitive perks all come with their price tags. Guidewire Software gave an average of just over a 32 percent increase in salaries to employees changing positions , while big-name companies like Facebook and Visa increased salaries by roughly 30 percent.
Tech Industry Turnover
Employee retention can sometimes be a byproduct of internal promotions and advancements within the company. While this vertical movement usually has an increase in compensation attached to it, it can also mean more prestigious titles or roles.
Of the over 31,000 internal and external company transitions studied, we found employees were willing to wait the longest for a promotion when they worked for companies like Hewlett-Packard, eBay, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HP averaged the longest employee retention with no advancements, creating a culture where team members stayed on staff for over six years while making over $105,000 annually. eBay followed with more than five years, on average, for employees earning nearly $116,000 per year, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises averaged one of the longest retention rates with the least amount of pay – over four years for less than $97,000 a year.
However, some employees weren’t willing to wait as long for advancement. At Workday, team members averaged under two years while making just over $110,000 annually before leaving for other opportunities. Groupon, Twitter, and Dropbox fared only slightly better, with employees lasting roughly two years after making around $141,000 to $145,000 annually.
Moving Up and On in the Tech Industry
Technology is always changing, and employment in the tech industry is no different.
When it comes to moving to a new company, our research found employees worked for their previous employer for just under three years and their employer prior to that for just over three years without an internal promotion before leaving.
Similarly, employees were willing to work almost three years in their previous job before transitioning roles within the same organization versus just over three years in their jobs before that. Regardless of promotion, employees were willing to wait longer before making any dramatic transition.
Voluntary Pay Cuts
Sometimes, money isn’t everything. While many transitions between tech companies occur to achieve a higher rate of pay, some employees are willing to transfer to a job that pays less. For some, a certain title on the resume or the prestige of a big-name brand can be alluring enough for an employee to accept significantly less cash annually.
Nike had the largest overall decrease in salary. New employees were willing to take more than a $12,000 pay cut to say they worked for the athletic shoe giant. Working for Zenefits or General Motors was also worth more than a $10,000 reduction in salary.
Square and Deloitte didn’t command as high of a reduction, but employees were still willing to take less to earn their spot on these business-to-business tech solutions’ rosters.
Your Growth, Now
While certain names, like Microsoft, may be losing team members to other competitive companies, like Amazon and Google, they still ranked among our top 100 in the industry for quality talent. Knowing how often employees leave one tech company for another (like Cisco to Apple, or Amazon to Google) can help you understand the industry and internal growth better when considering a new job. Additionally, while some companies appeared to be worth waiting for an internal transition (Hewlett-Packard and eBay), others had much faster turnover times.
At Paysa, we help you get paid what you deserve throughout your career by providing unique trend analysis and data compilations to help you make the best professional decisions regarding your career growth. Our research shows that 36 percent of professionals are underpaid relative to their market, and the fastest way to make more money is to receive a raise from your current employer. If you’re looking to get a raise, find a job, or even evaluate an offer, we have the tools you need to get ahead. Visit us online today to learn more.
We looked at the 200 companies that have the best tech talent and analyzed over 31,000 job title changes using internal job history data to track who stayed put and which tech employees moved to a new company.
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