Compensation Not the Only Game in Town for IT Pros
A respectable salary can keep IT pros in their jobs, but a better one from another company could incentivize them to jump ship. Yet there’s more to this story.
Working conditions – such as remote work, flex hours, culture, and training and education – hold a big appeal for tech professionals looking for greener pastures.
The latest stats from the annual Dice 2019 Tech Salary Report, released Tuesday, note that salaries for IT pros were flat in 2018 — so employers should consider improving work conditions to retain employees. Those on the hunt for new IT pros need to entice them with both a healthy salary and attractive work conditions.
“Technology is an important driving force behind innovation, and almost every company will be a tech company at its core in the future. How we incentivize our tech talent will define our business success,” said Art Zeile, CEO of DHI Group, parent company to Dice, a career platform for technology professionals.
Looking back at 2018, Dice reports salaries for technology professions in the U.S. averaged $93,244, up less than 1 percent from the previous year. But it notes that compelling deal sweeteners beyond salary impress top tech talent and attract new talent.
Compensation, or increasing compensation, continues to lure IT talent; in fact, salary satisfaction has been declining steadily since 2012, when only 57 percent report being satisfied with their paychecks. Last year, less than half (48 percent) said they were satisfied. When asked if they’d change employers, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Dice survey respondents said they would leave for a fatter paycheck. Forty-seven percent said they would leave an employer for better working conditions, and one-third (34 percent) want more responsibility.
Money is nice, but it’s not everything. The Dice report highlights dissatisfaction with working conditions among IT staff — and employers who seem not to be doing much about it.
For example, nearly three in four (73 percent) survey respondents want a flexible working option, yet only 49 percent have it. Seventy-one percent of survey takers said that training and education are important to them but only 40 percent get it from their employers. One in three (34 percent) tech pros said they’d change employers to get more job responsibilities.
The Dice results suggest a correlation between a lack of interesting and challenging work with job burnout. Among tech survey takers, one in three (35 percent) reported job burnout. Contributing factors include lack of recognition (36 percent), workload (35 percent), and lack of challenge or monotony (28 percent).
More than one-half (52 percent) of survey respondents said they’d take a pay cut to work remotely more often; 48 percent wouldn’t. What are flex work options worth? For one in three (33 percent), they’re worth a 10 percent cut in pay, Three percent went as far to say they’d take a pay cut of 31 percent or more for a flexible work option.
A flexible work option isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition for the survey-takers. Responses range from those who want to work remotely all the time (21 percent) to those who want to a few days per month (15 percent). Most of the remaining two-thirds chose one day a week, half time or more than half of the time away from the office.
The survey revealed that companies providing training and education are more likely to have tech pros who are satisfied with their jobs (45 percent), while just 28 percent of IT pros who are dissatisfied with their job get training.
Retaining tech talent saves companies time, money and headaches. The primary motivators employers provided IT pros in 2018: increased compensation (17 percent), flexible work location/work remotely (15 percent), flexible work hours (10 percent), more interesting or challenging work (10 percent), promotion or new title (4 percent), training and certification courses (3 percent), and high-level recognition (2 percent).
Since 2010, Dice reports the percentage of employers providing motivators to retain talent has risen steadily, from 59 percent in 2010 to 73 percent today.