Here’s how I answered the question:
One of the very best ways to ATTRACT the best people in IT is, simply enough, to offer significant resume-building experiences as a central part of each position, Too many organizations bury this value-added headline in their recruitment and selection processes, opting, instead, to focus solely on the day-to-day (read: non-glamorous) responsibilities of each opening.
One of the very best ways to DEVELOP the best people in IT is, simply enough, to hire them a leadership coach that’s external to your organization. Self-serving on my part, to be sure, but face the facts: You don’t have time to coach and mentor your key employees as you’d like, and their bosses don’t have the time to coach and mentor their key employees as much as you’d like, and if no one’s providing your key talent with this type of personalized professional development, why SHOULD they stay?
And one of the very best ways to RETAIN the best people in IT is, simply enough, a combination of the above — actually (and continue to) assign them significant resume-building experiences throughout their stay, and hire them a leadership coach that’s external to your organization so they can grow their “executive intelligence” skills as well as their IT acumen.
That’s MY take on this issue, anyway.