Achieving 100% Engineer Retention As A Digital Studio

Achieving 100% Engineer Retention As A Digital Studio
Read about why the team and employee retention are key to our success as a venture studio from our CEO Andrew Amann and how we've retained 100% of our devs

We have hired over 200 people in the last 11 years at our startup studio.

In the last year, we have been able to retain 100% of our engineering team.

Why? Because it is a top priority for us at NineTwoThree.

Here is how we do it...

The Strength Of Venture Studio Teams

A key component of the venture studio model is the idea that you take one team from project to project.

This is because the team can draw on their experience to make each venture they work on a profitable one.

For us, that means hiring and employee retention is a main priority.

The quality of our team is ultimately what allows us to estimate projects within 4% accuracy and deliver them with a 4 month ROI.

Building a product from scratch requires assembling a group of multidisciplinary individuals that can work efficiently together and contribute to making a product that people will love.

Attracting Great Development Talent

So let's talk more about how we build and manage our team as a venture studio.

First, you need to understand how to attract good talent to your company.

There are a few important things that we use to ensure that we find high quality applicants.

1. We make the offer good

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Make sure that you are able to offer the industry rate or better and you'll know your applicant pool will be big enough.

2. We keep the technology exciting

As a venture studio, we are constantly rotating between new projects and that mean that our developers, project managers and more are able to work on new challenges that keep them engaged.

3. We use inter-team referrals.

Whenever we're looking for a new hire, we start from within our existing team first. We ask if anyone knows anyone that could be a fit for the new role before we go to outside advertising.

From there it's all about careful interviewing and narrowing it down to the best candidate to join.

Onboarding For Success

Once you have the right person for the job, the next big focus is onboarding.

This is another thing we take seriously.

Using Trainual and other internal processes, we've built up an operational approach to bringing new people onboard.

This means that they don't get dropped in the deep end of tasks, and we can bring them up to speed at a good pace.

Once they know how the company works and what is expected from them, we introduce them to our project management approach.

Team management is vital to the success of the project because it sets the tone for workstyle and communication.

As a founder, you are a key part of this process too.

Maintaining Transparent Project Management

Once the actual development begins, you will benefit most by maintaining an active role in the process.

Most of it will revolve around regular updates, frequent feedback, and being actively involved in the management board for the project.

We use for example, and we circle back to them regularly to ensure we are staying transparent and on track.

Projects are also managed with weekly meetings -with frequent feedback loops, it’s important to build upon previous iterations and improve.

And that improvement also carries through from project to project.

It's one of the reasons we put a lot of emphasis on internal learning opportunities.

Investing in your team's education and training is never a bad business decision.

When you have that core team that works together well and overcomes challenges together, your focus shifts to supporting them and ensuring they feel valued by the company.

Keeping Employee Retention Levels High

This is where retention comes in.

We look after our team - through times of crisis and times of joy.

In fact, 1% of our total revenue each month is spent on gifts for our team.

We celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, new births, degrees gained and more.

It's a small thing, but it reminds our team how much they mean to us and our success.

This has helped us to keep the same team we have had for years, and carry them from project to project.

TL: DR leading venture studios keep a keen focus on hiring and retaining great talent using the strategies in this thread and you can use them in your startup too.

Follow @andrewamann on Twitter for more insights into building leading teams and the startup studio model.

Andrew Amann
Andrew Amann
Building a NineTwoThree Studio
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