So much for loyalty. According to the latest research, retaining IT staff looks set to challenge today’s CIO more than ever before: unprecedented numbers are looking for new jobs.
The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) reports that 49% of IT professionals admit to either seriously looking for a new job, or being open to opportunities. That compares to just 24% of those polled a year earlier. Separately, recruitment consultants Adecco reports 48% of IT staff have applied for an alternative job or registered with a recruitment agency in the last year.
At the same time, the fluidity of the IT employment market is fuelling wage growth, notes Ann Swain, CEO of ATSCo: pay for IT professionals rose by 18% during 2006, nearly five times the average national rate.
It is a pretty bleak picture on the face of it: money-motivated staff ready to jump ship at a moment’s notice. But not an all together accurate one, notes Swain. Talent will always command a premium, she says, but it is up to senior executives to “put in place measures to retain the skills they already have.”
So should CIOs be beating a path to the door of the HR director, to start developing those retention policies? They might, but they could be in for a shock, warns John Mahoney at Gartner. “The global talent wars of the next few years will depend on the ability to exploit revolutionary technical change. CIOs should expect to face a lack of comprehension from the HR department, however the challenge is to overcome that.”