What Drives Tech Pros to New Jobs?

By Kevin Shearer on April 11, 2017 in IT Hiring


There has never been a better time to be a skilled worker in the tech field. A high number of job openings and low amount of available talent has created a frenzy of demand, and competition, for hiring IT professionals. This is a problem for employers, with hiring and retaining staff being a top challenge for IT executives. On the other hand, tech workers have their pick from a multitude of different opportunities offering varying amounts of job satisfaction. Here’s what drives tech pros to new jobs, and what you can do about it.

To Further Their Skills

Just because a tech worker knows they are in demand doesn’t mean they just want to coast through each workday. In fact, 69% of IT professionals say they are seeking a new job in order to advance their IT skills. They understand that if they can’t obtain new abilities then they can’t really grow as a professional. Unsurprisingly, given the increasing frequency of cyberattacks, security is the #1 cited skill that tech pros plan to improve upon in 2017.

To address this desire, employers can make it clear up front that they encourage continuous learning and offer training opportunities to advance skills and expose workers to cutting-edge technologies. Sponsoring workers for new tech certifications is a great way to show proof of this mentality. The cost of any program or certification will be outweighed by the additional skill set learned and put to use at work each day, and it avoids the loss of a worker that could leave a team shorthanded for weeks or months. Ultimately, people want to be challenged, and they want to grow.

For Better Work-Life Balance

Given that a shortage for skilled tech employees can easily cause a business to be short-staffed, the norm has become for existing IT talent to be habitually overworked. IT pros average 52-hour work weeks. Such a heavy workload has resulted in 40% of these workers searching for a new job because they are currently burned out. Tech workers desire added flexibility in their roles, and they will go wherever they can receive this coveted benefit.

The gig economy of freelance workers is growing, so there are more and more opportunities in IT that offer greater flexibility than in traditional roles. New technology encourages the growth of these roles and makes communication from a remote office easier. Allowing employees to work from home, at least occasionally, is one way to instantly improve work-life balance. However, just because talent can work from home does not mean they should be expected to work 24/7. It’s a fine line, and the distinction must be made clear to alleviate this stressor on employees.

For a Higher Salary

A high salary should never be the sole tool with which to sell a tech expert on joining a team. While it can be enough to get them aboard, salary alone is not enough to convince them to stay. However, getting in the door is often the biggest challenge.

An unsurprising 64% of tech workers are leaving their job in order to increase their salary. These workers are seeing openings for the highest paying tech jobs in 2017 hitting their inboxes daily, and that is often a catalyst driving these tech pros to new jobs. While it shouldn’t be the only focus, offering a competitive salary is essential in preventing this retention problem.

For detailed salary data, click here for our 2018 IT & Creative Salary Guide.

For a Better Culture

Glassdoor recently found that the culture and values of an organization are the largest predictor of employee satisfaction. A worker may be enjoying their pay and learning new skills, but a terrible culture can be enough to drive them into a full-blown job search.

Every employer should conduct an internal analysis. Do workplace dynamics foster coworkers investing in each other as they do with friends and family? Sometimes it’s the small things that get overlooked, but can make a tremendous impact. Encourage bonding through team building, and hold fun events like a monthly pizza party lunch or contests surrounding major sporting events.

Is the environment an enjoyable place for people to work? Is there free coffee always stocked in the break room, decorations changed for each season, and employee recognition awards proudly displayed on bulletin boards? There’s a generational shift in the tech industry, and younger workers that have grown up reading about the legendary environments of Google and Facebook will demand a great atmosphere and culture out of their chosen workplace.

What Drives Tech Pros to New Jobs?

An in-demand IT professional understands that they don’t have to settle for less than what they want out of their career. It can be tempting for these workers to entertain the host of offers thrown at them “just to see what’s out there.” When it’s too difficult to stop this outward flow of staff on your own, a staffing solutions partner can help you retain current workers and recruit top IT talent currently seeking out new roles.

For more in-depth insight into the tech market including hiring trends and compensation figures, request your 2017 Salary Guide today.

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