One-Third of IT Pros Looking for Greener Pastures

By Jason Bramwell
 
A recent survey of chief information officers (CIOs) and IT professionals by Robert Half Technology revealed that although a majority of CIOs believe their IT employees are quite happy with their jobs, more than one-third of IT workers reported job dissatisfaction, citing a lack of challenging work and career advancement opportunities.
 
When asked if they plan to look for a new job next year, 35 percent of the more than 7,500 IT workers who participated in the online survey replied "yes," while 30 percent responded "no." Thirty-five percent said they were unsure.
 
Those technology professionals who plan to job hunt next year cited the need for a new challenge (48 percent), a lack of advancement potential (47 percent), and not being adequately paid (38 percent) as the top three reasons why they want to leave their current job.
 

Five Tips for Retaining Top Performers

Robert Half Technology offers CIOs five tips on how to retain their best and brightest IT workers:
 
1. Pay competitively. Salary isn't the only key to job satisfaction, but underpaying technology professionals will prompt them to seek other career opportunities.
 
2. Offer new responsibilities. Top performers want to advance. Even when you can't give a promotion, offer new areas of responsibility – the best IT professionals want to continually build their skill sets.
 
3. Create a learning culture. Reimburse staff for relevant online classes, educational conferences, and courses offered by professional associations or local colleges. If employees seek IT certifications, consider reimbursing them for the costs to obtain and maintain their credentials. If your firm doesn't have a budget to pay for classes, consider starting a mentoring program.
 
4. Provide attractive benefits. Ask technology professionals what perks they want – from health plans to flexible work hours to paid time off – and do your best to deliver them.
 
5. Address burnout proactively. Promoting realistic workloads, bringing in project professionals when full-time employees are at capacity, and tackling morale issues immediately can help prevent employees from feeling overburdened and stressed.
 
This revelation of job dissatisfaction among IT personnel seems to contradict what CIOs reported in the survey. Robert Half Technology conducted more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs throughout the United States and asked them to rate their firm's IT workers' job satisfaction on a scale of one to five, with one being "least satisfied" and five being "most satisfied." Following are their responses:
  • Five rating – 29 percent 
  • Four rating – 43 percent
  • Three rating – 20 percent
  • Two rating – 3 percent
  • One rating – 2 percent
  • Not applicable – 3 percent
"Skilled IT professionals in hot areas, such as mobile app development and IT networking, have many job opportunities in the current market," John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, said in a written statement. "CIOs will be more likely to keep their top performers if they make retention a priority and recognize that technology workers value opportunities to build their skills and move up in an organization."
 
About the survey:
The CIO survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of US companies in twenty-three major metro areas with one hundred or more employees. The IT worker survey was developed and conducted by Robert Half Technology, and the responses are from more than 7,500 IT workers who participated in a web survey.
 
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