The Technology Industry’s Career Path Problem

July 27, 2020 Mina Morris

First published on Linkedin


Technology workers are three times more likely to quit than move laterally across job families or functions within the same organization, Aon’s Digital Readiness survey found.

The deficiencies show that tech companies should open up career patterns, allowing for movement throughout the organization and enabling employees to maximize their value. But without the traditional career ladder to anchor raises to, how can tech companies measure and predict which employees are going to have the most significant impact on business performance?

True career mobility can help tech companies retain their best people. They will need to adopt a more rigorous, data-driven approach to optimize and align career paths to business objectives and the workforce’s needs. Here are three ways to foster career mobility in the tech industry.

Create More Flexible Career Options

Tech companies need to open up career patterns, allowing for movement throughout the organization and enabling employees to move in all directions — toward their version of career success and as part of teams where they can add maximum value.

Employers can create space for these patterns to emerge through the creation of “job neighborhoods.” Specific job groupings are more aligned with individual competencies and skills and these positions can be grouped into job neighborhoods. Once those potential career moves are laid out, employees can match their skill sets to a series of interconnected job pathways and join new teams.

Use a Job Neighborhood Approach to Map Careers

Job neighborhoods open up new pathways for employees based on their current skill level and help them chart their futures at your organization. Employees receive multiple options regarding their mobility, and a tech company benefits from the distinct, individual career paths that are woven throughout.

If employees can collaborate with supervisors and a talent management team to determine their career trajectories, they will be more likely to buy into reskilling initiatives and contribute to the growth of a tech company’s internal talent pipeline.

Help Employees Invest in Their Own Development

50% of organizations don’t have the necessary assessments to identify and develop digital talent

The rapid pace of disruption means that technical skills have a short shelf life. For tech companies to future-proof their workforces, they will need a longer-term approach to career development.

A focus on behaviors rather than purely technical skills can help tech companies and their employees create a better strategy for career development. For example, the rise of artificial intelligence may eliminate a role within a tech company, but that does not mean the person has to be let go. Assessing the behavioral characteristics of employees and how they adapt to organizational change can help companies place them in more productive jobs.

Tech companies may understand the need to foster a culture of career development. Still, Aon found that 50% of organizations don’t have the necessary assessments to identify and develop digital talent — or the tech platforms to support career path and progression planning guided by individual employees.

Assessments, like Aon’s digital readiness solution or a skills inventory, provide great insights and help employees understand what they bring to the table, what interests drive them and how to create the flexible career patterns they want. This is the first step to building the tech workforce of the future. Learn more about how Aon’s Assessment Solutions can prepare your organization for the road ahead.

Are you interested in knowing more about the Future of Work? We asked over 1,500 HR leaders how they are dealing with it - read our report here.

About the Author

Mina Morris

Mina Morris is an Associate Partner with Aon’s Assessment Solution Practice. As an organizational psychologist, Mina works with clients to maximize the effectiveness of their talent selection processes, implement talent management systems and helps organizations manage change. Mina has extensive global experience partnering with clients in North America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East to deliver human capital solutions that help deliver business results.

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