Newsletters:

Money Still No.1

Apr 23, 2008
By

Allen Bernard






 

Despite what people often say in surveys about needed a flexible schedule or more time off to balance their work/life experience, most CIOs agree that money is still the No.1 way to keep your best employees from leaving.

This isn't the only retention tool, of course, but when CIOs were asked to identify the most effective ways to keep IT staff, compensation topped the list. Providing opportunities for professional development was close behind, cited by 21% of respondents; another 18% said flexible schedules helped to improve retention rates.


CIOs were asked, “Which of the following elements have you found most effective at improving IT staff retention?” 

Increased compensation................................................ 27%

Professional development or training............................... 21%

Offering flexible schedules............................................. 18%

Telecommuting............................................................   7%

Extra vacation days or time off.......................................  6%

Granting company stock or options.................................   2%

Other..........................................................................   1%

None..........................................................................   7%

Don’t know..................................................................  11%

                                                                                                  100%

 “Attractive pay is always a key selling point for IT professionals, but it’s only one element of an effective retention program,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. “Creating an attractive corporate culture, which includes everything from training to work/life balance programs, is crucial for keeping valued employees, especially when the hiring environment for highly skilled professionals is competitive.”

Chris Ferguson, VP of Robert Half Technology noted that IT workers, in particular, appreciate professional development opportunities that help them keep up with changes in the industry.

When you look at this survey (money) is just one factor. I think in, especially in IT, certifications are becoming more and more important,” he said. “The certification, if anything, validates that individuals commitment to life-long learning and their trade. Someone with the certification and the professional experience; they're certainly going to be a much more valuable individual.”

This is why Ferguson believes professional development came in at No.2 on the list.

Effective Retention Programs

RHT offers the following advice for improving retention rates:

Pay competitively - Periodically benchmark employee compensation against industry-standard ranges to ensure your salaries are keeping pace. Robert Half Technology produces an annual Salary Guide with salary ranges for more than 60 IT positions.

Offer and promote training - Provide IT staff access to the courses and certification programs they need to grow their careers. Make sure employees are aware of professional development opportunities.

Support work/life balance - To prevent teams from burning out, ensure that workloads are realistic. Encourage employees to ask for help when they need it, and consider bringing in project professionals to help during peak periods.

Methodology

The survey was developed by RHT, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with 1,400 CIOs across the U.S.







Tags: IT hiring trends,
 

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