Keeping & Attracting Top IT Talent

The current unemployment rate in the IT sector is under 1% and close to 0% in certain areas like IT Security. A recent study conducted by Korn Ferry concluded that the tech sector will see a shortage of over 4.3 million jobs by 2030 (not that far away).

Experienced, high caliber IT professionals can be very selective in where they work.  They won’t accept any offer that comes up.  It’s critical for IT Leaders to understand what’s important to them in order to keep and attract top IT talent.​

The automatic assumption for many IT leaders is to pay employees larger salaries so they stick around or want to work for your company.  Although money is always an important factor, we know both anecdotally and by looking at the data we collect through our latest 2018 survey, “What matters to IT professionals”, that money is not everything.  The results of the survey show that 68% of IT professionals would be willing to take a pay cut for a better position and only 53% are happy in their current position.  What’s more, is that 80% of those surveyed would be willing to leave their current employer if a better opportunity came up.

​In order to attract and retain high caliber IT talent, IT leaders need to focus on a few key areas as follows:

1. A relationship between employee and direct supervisor

Without a doubt, the most important factor in employee retention is the relationship between the employee and their direct supervisor.  Unfortunately, many IT managers were promoted from individual contributor tech positions with absolutely no training on how to manage people.  

IT leaders should focus on building stronger relationships with their direct reports.  Here are a few areas to be mindful of:

  • Clarity - It’s important for managers to be very clear on expectations.  Better clarity from managers regarding what's expected can be a happiness boost that leads to higher retention.  

  • Support – The most frequent cause of a bad day at work is an unsupportive, unhelpful boss. IT leaders need to be available to answer questions, give feedback and offer a positive word of encouragement. Managers should never be too busy to provide the support their        employees need.  

  • Personal Empathy – IT leaders must find ways to get to know the employee on a personal level, find common ground and strive to understand the employee's needs and issues that may arise. 

  • Making a difference – Every employee must feel that they are making a difference.  This is absolutely essential if you want to retain good talent. It’s up to each IT Leader to make sure that every employee in their organization feels that they are making a difference.

2. Flexibility

​A commitment to supporting work-life balance can ensure success in the effort to find and retain top caliber IT talent.  ​

One of Perspective Talent’s clients is a non-profit organization with very limited resources.  They struggled for many years to fill their open IT positions because their salaries were drastically below market for their area. About 9 months ago, they instituted a new policy which allowed IT employees to work remotely.  As a result, they were able to easily fill all of their open positions with exceptionally talented IT people that were willing to take a pay cut for the flexibility of working from h