Will Raises Retain Technologists in the ‘Great Recession’? Ubisoft Hopes.

Will organizations need to give out substantial raises in order to keep prized technologists onboard during the so-called “Great Resignation”?

That’s a conclusion you could draw after reading the latest report from Kotaku about the situation inside video-game giant Ubisoft Canada, which is reportedly paying significant premiums to retain developers, particularly those with many years of experience. Those senior developers could enjoy a 20 percent pay bump, while those with less experience might see a raise in the range of 5-7 percent. 

“Sources tell Kotaku that Ubisoft has been bleeding top-level talent for the past couple years,” the publication added. “In addition to the allegations that came out in 2020, these departures have also come as part of a general wave of resignations throughout the global pandemic, and as competitions for talent ramp up among companies like Google, Facebook, and Riot Games, and Tencent.” It’s an open question whether Ubisoft’s other offices worldwide will enjoy the same raises; its Canadian hub is responsible for blockbuster game titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. (The reference to “allegations that came out in 2020” is to reported claims of sexual harassment.)

Across North America, low unemployment rates and a demand for talent are leading employees to leave their current positions in search of better opportunities. A survey conducted over the summer by Harris Poll on behalf of Personal Capital indicated that 78 percent of Millennials were interested in switching jobs, along with 91 percent of Gen Zers. An analysis by the Harvard Business Review found that resignation rates were highest among employees between the ages of 30 and 45—in other words, those with solid experience and skills that companies would desperately like to keep.

In tech, the momentum behind resignations is particularly strong. “While resignations actually decreased slightly in industries such as manufacturing and finance, 3.6 percent more health care employees quit their jobs than in the previous year, and in tech, resignations increased by 4.5 percent,” read a recent analysis by Visier Benchmarks. 

If companies want to retain their most valued technologists, they might want to explore raises and other kinds of pay bumps. However, technologists have also shown in survey after survey that they’re just as concerned about things like work-life balance as they are about salary. Giving technologists a space to voice their concerns, and working with them to create an ideal workplace environment, can often succeed in boosting their morale—and convincing them that a particular company is a good long-term professional home.