In today’s candidate focused market, one-third (32 percent) of tech employers would offer a 10-15 percent salary increase in order to attract top talent, according to a new survey, “Tech Trends: IT Leaders and the Employment Market,” conducted by Modis, a leading provider of information technology staffing.
The survey of 500 IT professionals responsible for key decisions including hiring within their organizations found that 35 percent would also re-hire talent that had previously left the company three months before, and 33 percent would re-hire no matter how long ago the talent left.
“With the tech sector unemployment rate at 2.6 percent, the pool of available and skilled talent is smaller than ever. Nearly two-thirds of tech employers are open to offering currently employed candidates a 6-15% increase to their current salary to attract the cream of the crop,” said Jack Cullen, president, Modis.
“Today’s employers need to be open to negotiation and today’s candidates need to be prepared to negotiate.”
The survey of CTOs, CIOs, presidents, directors, managers, engineers and other technology professionals found that 28 percent of tech employers said work experiences and certifications are more important than education when evaluating a candidate.
When they do evaluate educational background, 27 percent said the quality of the institution or the subject of the degree matters more than whether the degree was obtained online or through a traditional brick and mortar institution.
What Do IT Decision Makers Value Most?
In a field where skilled talent often has a myriad of opportunities, employers value loyalty. The survey found those who have worked in IT for 10 or more years viewed average tenure of less than one year most negatively (56 percent). Those age 25 and under, viewed it less negatively (32 percent) than those age 55 to 64 years (50 percent).
“While ‘the grass is always greener’ mentality tends to be a common perception among highly-skilled and employable tech workers, loyalty is a trait that IT decision makers view most positively,” Cullen says. “It has been found that candidates with tenure of five or more years at their previous post (58 percent) were more attractive applicants.”
From leadership strengths to taking initiative to leading above and beyond, a longer tenure tends to indicate professional attributes in a candidate that employers look for.
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Cullen further added, “When candidate’s resumes demonstrate significant tenure at an organization, particularly involving promotions or increases in responsibility, it signals that this is a quality candidate. With many opportunities available to qualified talent today, employers need to be prepared and mindful of their hiring processes and timelines to avoid missing out on this talent.”
When it comes to geography, technology leaders are also keyed into where the next big opportunity for industry growth is.
How to Win Over the Talent
While more than one-quarter (26.4 percent) of respondents said salary is the most important benefit for attracting talent, competing on salary alone is not necessary.
Many employers today recognize candidates are looking for work-life balance and opportunities to grow. 54 percent of IT decision makers believe employees are having greater interest in benefits, such as having the ability to work remotely (27 percent) or having flex hours (36 percent).
IT and tech leaders also believe that employees highly value the ability to innovate and create new products, projects or ideas (21.6 percent) as well as having upward mobility in their career (22.6 percent), so employers are keen to provide these opportunities to potential talent. Like any successful relationship, communication and mutual understanding are crucial.
What Keeps IT Decision Makers Up at Night?
From security breaches to skills gaps, those in IT today are faced with numerous challenges. With 45.2 percent ranking cybersecurity and privacy as their top concern in the tech industry, it’s alarming that nearly one-quarter (22 percent) ranked security and infrastructure hard skills as the most difficult to find in candidates.
Further, about 40 percent felt that external threats were the biggest security concern at their companies. Outside of hard technology skills, team work and interpersonal skills ranked as the most difficult soft skill to find in tech candidates (31 percent), followed by communication skills (26 percent).
When it comes to diversity in tech, 41 percent of respondents said age is the biggest challenge, with gender (28 percent) and ethnicity (21 percent) ranking second and third.
Also read: Amazon Experiments with New Styles of Working to Lure Tech Talent
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