What Makes a Tech Employee Decide Whether to Quit or to Stay?

April 6, 20168:30 am
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Employee turnover in tech is a major concern for most IT organisations and HR managers alike in the sector. Recent survey findings by PROTECH, an IT search and staffing firm reveals how employers and employees in the information technology field view the current job picture.

The survey titled, ‘12th annual Tech Talent Survey and 14th annual Tech Leadership’ shows that 68% of tech companies plan to increase staff this year (up 1% from last year), with the balance saying staff levels will remain the same in 2016, despite respondents’ indicating they feel a downswing in the economy.

Furthermore, 56% of employers surveyed are concerned with losing talented IT staff members—with good reason, according to the employees’ responses.

Employers’ Take on Current Attrition in IT

The primary reason cited by employers for losing staff is compensation, with 73% identifying pay as the top reason. Tech salaries do continue to increase, but at lower rates than in previous years.

Of course, several factors affect salary rates, including size of the employer, bonus structures, benefit packages, and whether an employee has a degree. The other primary reason cited by employers for staff turnover is lack of career path (17%), benefits (6%), and company culture (4%).

In response to high levels of turnover, 40% of companies’ stated that they plan to invest more into employee training and retention programs. This is up from 33% last year.

“There may be somewhat of disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to reasons for parting ways,” said Deborah Vazquez, CEO of PROTECH.

“Both agree that compensation is the primary reason, but the percentages vary significantly, with 73% of employers citing salary as a key reason compared to 38% of employees. And employers believe lack of a career path to be the second reason for losing staff, while employees cite this as third (tied with employer instability) after work/life balance.”

See: Little-Known Facts about Women in Tech: Growing to Top Positions at 238% Faster than Men

What Do Employees Have to Say

A record 90% of tech talent responding to the survey said they would leave their current employer for a better opportunity.

The top reason given was salary, with 38% reporting it as the main factor in leaving a position. After salary, work/life balance (15%) was chosen as the second biggest reason for leaving an employer, followed by lack of career path and employer instability, which tied at 9%.

This is the first time “work/life balance” comes in as a top reason for leaving employers. The last time it appeared was in 2012, with only a 1% response.

Interestingly, “employer instability” was not cited at all in last year’s Tech Talent survey as a reason for leaving a current employer, which could mean employees, too, are sensing a weakening economy with companies starting to run into financial trouble.

Employees also indicated that the top perks that would have them continue with an employer were flextime or telecommuting (43%), a work/life balance essential, followed by some form of sign-on or annual bonus (15%), and extra vacation time (11%).

Deborah commented: “Telecommuting and flexible work schedules are becoming more popular [because of] the technology available today, and I believe employees see these types of accommodations contributing to a better work/life balance formula. Employers may be missing a good opportunity to reduce increasing salary pressure by providing more work/life balance incentives to attract and retain key staff.”

Also read: Salaries of IT Professionals in Singapore to Increase at Average 10% to 15%

Image credit: scoop.it