How to manage a replacement in a tech team?


In these uncertain times, the job market is quite unfavorable for employers. Many positions remain unfilled for too long. 

Your developer may be leaving, your CTO may ask you to replace and find the perfect copy of your old developer... But nothing does, you can't find the perfect developer. 

You are not the only one in this situation. Many of our customers at Bluecoders tell us about these difficulties. In this article, we'll explain why replacing an employee can be a real cost to your business and how best to find the right developer for your team .

Limiting the turnover of your developers is essential

In today's tight market, finding and retaining the best employees is vital to your organization's success.

This is especially difficult for smaller entities that have to compete with larger entities and larger budgets, allowing them to attract top talent. 

As you know, once you've found a "nugget" developer, the key is not to let it go.

To avoid this, annual salary is not the only way to compete with large groups. Benefits customized to your employees' needs can be a lever to reduce employee turnover. 

Employee turnover is usually bad for your business:

  • Turnover can affect employee morale: One of the first noticeable changes in a team after a departure is a drop in overall morale. This can affect the culture and commitment of your remaining employees.

  • Employee turnover decreases productivity: the departure and replacement of an employee - especially a tech employee - necessarily leads to a decrease in team productivity. Fewer employees are available to do the tasks at hand and you spend time and energy finding a replacement for your recently departed tech.

  • Turnover is costly to your business: Turnover in your workforce has a cost to your business. Indeed, recruiting, training and integrating new employees represents a significant financial cost. 

The average cost of losing an employee can be thousands of dollars. On average, replacing an employee costs 6 to 9 months of salary.

Coping with the departure of a developer 

Before replacing an employee, it is important to understand why he or she left in order to avoid further departures that could seriously harm your company's future. 

Why does a developer leave his job?

There are many reasons why an employee may leave their current position. Among them we can mention:

  • Lack of career development opportunities
  • Lack of employee engagement
  • Poor corporate culture
  • Lack of or inadequate employee benefits and annual compensation
  • Disagreements with colleagues or management
  • Lack of clear goals or direction for the company
  • Employees feel that their comments or ideas are not taken into account.

Faced with these factors, it is possible to act. In order to counteract these frustrations, you can offer clear and attractive career plans, continuous training, differentiating social benefits or even implement a strong employer brand, notably by training your non-tech teams in the tech culture, such as your HR and managers.

Your developers will finally feel heard and understood.

Once you have identified the reasons for your dev's departure, bring them up and prepare an execution plan to limit further replacements to be made.

Anticipate the departure and evaluate the need for a new developer

Your lead dev is leaving. He recently told you and you now have the notice period to anticipate his departure.

After analyzing the reasons for such a choice, it is time to start looking for a new developer.

First and foremost, it is essential to understand that no two devs are alike. If your CTO makes you think otherwise, make him/her accept the differences and the benefits of getting a fresh look at your service or product development. 

Secondly, it is important to evaluate the recruitment needs of your company. This will help you build a clear and precise job description

At this stage, realism is the watchword! Your CTO wants a back-end developer with 10 years of experience in PHP and Python, who has worked at Google or Facebook, and all this for the modest sum of 45k € per year?

Don't look for the golden goose, there is no such profile. Assess the real needs of the company and draw up the ideal profile while identifying possible areas of compromise.

Some prerequisites will be prohibitive (the code language for example) others less so (it did not make Google but a fast growing proptech).  

If your supervisor is still not convinced, start by asking questions such as:

"if the person has 10 years of experience in PHP without having touched much Python, does it matter?",

"Why would a dev with that kind of experience agree to work for us?",

"How much do you think a back end developer at Google costs?";,

"What do we have to offer him?"... 

These are all questions that will allow you to slightly lower the requirements and refine the appropriate profile of the developer you are missing. 

Go hunting for your developer 

Once you have identified your recruitment needs and the ideal profile, it's time to execute your plan. 

First, use your network and candidate base to screen potential candidates.

Then post a clear and precise job description. Finally, during the first interviews, keep in mind that the current context is more unfavorable to employers than to tech employees. It is therefore important that the candidate wants to work for you.

To do this, you need to manage the careers of your techs, from recruitment, to progression, to departure. Following the career evolution of your employees also increases their loyalty. 

If you are unable to recruit from your own pool of candidates or from your internal cooptation network, you can also go into hunting mode and call upon tech recruitment experts such as Bluecoders.

Outsource your recruitment

Using experts like Bluecoders gives you access to the best tech pool for your company. Bluecoders is a recruitment agency specialized in tech: where recruiters really know what they are talking about. Your candidates will say: "finally a recruiter who knows what he is talking about! 

At Bluecoders, we help both recruiters to learn about the specificities of tech recruitment and IT profiles in their careers by presenting them with opportunities that match their ambitions.

Organize the handover 

Once the ideal candidate has been found, it is time to organize the handover. For this, we advise you not to wait until your former employee's last day to onboard his or her successor.

The handover is an important moment and a considerable time and money saver when replacing a position. 

The idea is to put sharing and transmission at the heart of the exchange. You can also accompany this period with materials that the former colleague will have written beforehand to guide his replacement.

At departure time, keep in touch with the employee

It's almost time to go. Before the party that will close your developer's great experience with your team, make sure you get his last impressions

As a follow-up, plan a time of exchange in order to collect his opinions on the team, the company, the processes and his work. His or her voice will be freer and his or her feedback will be beneficial in finding ways to improve your company and your team.

Once you have your equipment and login information, don't forget to keep in touch with your former employee. It's always a good idea to keep track of your former colleagues and keep in touch with them.


As you can see, there is no such thing as a five-legged sheep. When an employee tells you that he or she wants to leave, it is not a matter of keeping him or her at all costs, but of understanding his or her motivations and finding realistic solutions.

Once the decision is accepted, don't waste time and start looking for a tech replacement. To do so, identify the new tech recruitment needs, the job description and the requirements of such a profile.

Once the ideal talent has been identified and recruited, don't forget to organize a knowledge transfer so that as little information as possible is lost. 

If you're feeling lost in the process of replacing your tech, don't hesitate to call on tech recruitment experts. Our Bluecoders consultants will be delighted to assist you with such important issues. Bluecoders' strength in a market with a shortage of tech talent is its responsiveness. Discover it here!


  1. How much does it cost to replace a tech?
    On average, replacing an employee costs between 6 and 9 months of salary.
  2. What steps should be taken to replace a tech employee?
    Here are the important steps to follow in order to replace a member of the tech team: accept the departure, understand the motivations, anticipate and organize the next steps, have a new offer that is clear and adequate to the new challenges, manage the handover, gather impressions and keep in touch.
  3. What if I can't find a replacement for a tech?
    If you are unable to recruit from your own pool of candidates or from your internal cooptation network, you can also go into hunting mode and call upon tech recruitment experts such as Bluecoders.
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