Who’s the Most Snipeable Person on Your Tech Team?

vulnerable tech team members

Imagine this: You’ve been managing a tech team for five years now. It’s taken some time, but you’ve finally gotten the dream team together. Imagined? Okay. Now, do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, worrying that your carefully chosen team will disperse? That some of your key players will leave when offered another opportunity from a competing organization?

Of course you have.

While there’s no way to know what’ll happen in the future, we’ve got a list of the most snipeable members of your team. These are the people who are most likely to accept an offer from another organization. Once you’ve identified them, do what you can to keep them happy at your own organization, and on your dream team.

The Snipeable people are ….

1. The Technologist You Brought On As a Fresh College Grad

Remember Evan? The Java developer you brought on to your team as a fresh college grad? After 4 or 5 years of working for you, he’s one of the most snipeable people on your team.

This news isn’t meant to discourage you from bringing fresh college grads onto your service. You should. They’ll often be more loyal to you as a result of the risk you took in taking them on. They’ll leave, not because they’re lacking loyalty, but because 4 or 5 years out you’re still thinking of them as ‘Evan the college grad’ and not as ‘Evan the seasoned professional.’ You might not be offering them the challenges or money that an individual in their position should be receiving.

In order to keep the technologist you brought on as a fresh college grad, have a talk with them. Make sure that they’re content with their duties, as well as the pay. This doesn’t mean that you have to pay them outrageously – just fairly. Treat them as you would any technologist with five years of experience.

2. The Passionate

There are two types of tech people in the world. There are those who program 9 to 5, and then there are those who program around the clock. The later is the “passionate” type. After leaving work, they’re going home to work on other projects, whether it be developing an app or writing a technical blog. The extra time they put into their work puts them into the category of  ‘the best of the best technologists,’ the kind you certainly don’t want to lose.

The passionate type will stay with your company as long as their passions are aligning with the role at hand. If the technology or project you have them working on doesn’t harness their passions, they’re likely snipeable for a position that has the kind of work for which they’re interested. Talk to your superstars, and get to know what makes them tick. For example, ask them if they have any ideas for special projects that would help the shop. If you’re able to implement some of their ideas, you might just keep some of your key players from being stolen.

3. The Life Changers

In our experience, people who are experiencing life change outside of the workplace are more likely to be lured to another position. For example, those who are getting married or having a baby are often more open to a career change as they start this new chapter of their life. Pay special attention to the “life changer” individuals on your team during this time. Sit down and have a conversation about these life changes, and see if there are any accommodations you can offer to keep them happy. For example, offering a partial telecommute option or more paid leave may keep these life changers from changing their workplace.
Of course, there are a million reasons why someone on your team will look for another tech gig. However, if you’re trying to figure out how to keep the team intact, take special care of those college grads, the passionates, and the life changers. There is nothing you can do if they want to leave, but at least you’ll know that you’ve given everything you’ve got to keep your team as it is.


What types of people are more likely to be lured from their current job? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Thanks to Pop Culture Geek for the use of their photograph.