Good luck hanging on to IT staff

Published on the 10/08/2016 | Written by Newsdesk

Employing IT staff

More than fifty percent those in tech jobs plan to move within a year…

Good tech people are in demand and that’s making them rather flighty, particularly as they aren’t getting the training they crave. That’s among the findings of Global Attract’s New Zealand IT Recruitment Market Insights & Salary Guide, which polled 720 respondents, and also found that the CIO role is changing to one of innovation.

The research shows that, on average, 60 percent of workers across five key job fields (DevOps and Infrastructure, Financial Services, IT Executive, Software Development, Testing and QA, and Project Management) intend to look for a new role in the next year.

So, while the Richard Branson meme doing the rounds on LinkedIn might make it sound easy (‘Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to’, according to the Sir), tech staff apparently aren’t enjoying quite that sort of experience.

“The Guide shows the main reasons for job-hopping include a lack of training and a lack of flexible benefits. The desire for more annual leave, flexible working arrangements and an enticing annual bonus scheme are also factors behind the movement,” said Dave Newick Global Attract New Zealand NZ director in a statement.

Of course, knowing that their staff are likely to bail in the short term doesn’t exactly provide a powerful motivator to invest in training. Be that as it may, the report indicates that, on average, 22 percent of those surveyed have not undergone any formal training relating to their role.

“Employers need to be smarter about training, recruitment and retention strategies for contractors and permanent staff to avoid and fill voids as skilled workers move around from one job to another,” Newick added.

Those most likely to look for another role work in Project Management; 73 percent engaged in this activity intend to change jobs in the next year. High demand and lack of supply of skilled workers in this sector are driving contractor growth and mobility.

“We are seeing a significant shortage of project managers and business analysts with Cloud and Digital experience. Forecast growth in this field and skill shortages will push contracting rates and salaries up, forcing employers to look offshore to fill roles,” said Newick.

The DevOps and Infrastructure arena also remains buoyant, with 59 percent of those surveyed indicating they intend to change jobs in the next year. While this is a growing industry, 27 percent of candidates have never undergone formal training related to their role.

In the Software Development, Testing and QA space, sentiment is similar; 56 percent of professionals intend to change jobs within the next 12 months; and in the IT Executive sector, 69 percent of respondents are either “very” or “fairly” satisfied in their roles – but 54 percent will be looking to for a new position soon, anyway.

Big changes are afoot in the IT Executive field as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role evolves from traditional technology manager to key innovator. Some 39 percent of respondents believe the biggest change to role of the CIO is a stronger business focus. A further 17 percent say CIOs are required to show how and where they add value, 14 percent think the role is more customer centric and 12 percent  say it’s more marketing/digital focused.

The report points to a decrease in demand for Digital Strategy and Execution experts, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Product Officers as Digital Marketing teams are increasingly built on product, marketing and digital development expertise.

“Marketing and IT now sit hand in hand. Senior IT executives must keep ahead of digital transformation trends, UX design and areas where customer interaction is key. The need for staff with experience in e-commerce and Bitcoin is also set to increase,” said Newick.

Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for the Financial Services IT sector is attracting permanent IT professionals to deliver digital initiatives.  The survey shows 18 percent of IT workers in Financial Services have never had any training relating to their role.

Access the research.

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