Posted in: IT employment, Special Report
Many companies are hiring IT talent now, and that means it’ll likely get harder and more expensive to find and keep the best – especially for those with in-demand skills.
For many applicants, the job market is still slow, but that’s not the case in IT — in fact, many companies are struggling to find qualified tech talent. At the same time businesses in many industries are looking to increase headcount in the IT department, the pool of IT job applicants is decreasing.
That competition is driving up salaries for new hires and current IT employees, says staffing firm Robert Half International. According to the firm’s latest IT salary guide, technology pros will get the biggest raise out of any sector in 2013.
How big of a raise can they expect? IT salaries are expected to increase by 5.3%, on average. That could cause problems for some companies’ recruiting and retention plans, especially if they’re looking to hire people skilled in high-demand and emerging areas, such as mobile technology and Big Data. These IT pros will the get some of the biggest salary bumps, according to Robert Half:
- Mobile application developers (9% increase)
- Wireless network engineers (7.9%)
- Data modelers (7.5%)
- Data warehouse managers (7.4%), and
- Web developers (7.3%).
However, the report warns that salaries will increase significantly across the board and at all levels. For example, entry level help desk staff will get an average raise of 4.9%, while PC technicians can expect a 4% increase.
Finding and keeping the best IT pros
Higher salaries and new opportunities for tech employees mean companies will have to put more effort into recruiting and retention for the IT department. Here’s what companies can do to avoid losing tech talent to competitors:
- Research your own market — In addition to job type and skill sets, salaries also vary a lot by geographic location. It’s important for companies to regularly look at the average salaries for specific jobs in their own regions to make sure they’re keeping up with the market.
- Consider hiring consultants or temps to get by in the interim, especially during new system implementations and other high-need periods.
- Avoid over-burdening current employees too much — increasing work loads may be necessary during a staffing shortage, but going overboard could cause a mass exodus as current staff become more dissatisfied.
- Increase low- or no-cost benefits — recent research has shown that IT pros value telecommuting and flexible schedules, which can be good tools for recruiting and retention.
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