As someone who has hired UX designers and also been brought in to implement UX design principles into a company (who had no understanding of the discipline), I have some opinions on this question. Here’s the main one:
UX designers want to make a difference in users lives. Help them, and let them.
We don’t want to just punch a clock and take home a paycheck. We are ambitious. The most ambitious UX designers want to change the world. The more pragmatic ones want to make things better for users.
All of us want to make a difference.
So, how do you keep the best UX talent? Help us do that. Help us make a difference.
The way you can do this is, primarily, to support a user experience team and give them the time and the budget to let them do this. And make sure that they are aligned with product owners. No, correct that… They should BE the product owners. They should work with the business management and negotiate the features and approach that is taken to roll out new features.
They should also be able to have the freedom to experiment and fail, and the culture of the company should embrace that failure as part of the journey and evolution of the company.
Basically, I’m describing the ideal company for someone like me go work in. If you have such a company that has as part of it’s core philosophy a customer-centered mindset, let’s talk… You know where to find me.