InformationWeek’s Annual Salary Survey is out and for a few columns now I have been looking at different parts of the report and thinking about what some of the results mean to me, ATR International, and our clients. I have one last thing that I wanted to share with you in case you missed it.
InformationWeek’s Annual Salary Survey is out and as always provides an interesting look at IT salaries and great insight into what IT workers are thinking about. One thing that caught my attention as I reviewed the details were the results around training and education, which shows a bit of a disconnection between what IT workers are thinking and doing.
We all know the common stereotype of an IT professional – socially awkward loners who enjoy spending most of their time in front of a computer screen. Behind this stereotype though are the very real differences between introverts and extroverts. We live in a world that overly rewards the socially outgoing extrovert, misunderstands introverts, and therefore undervalues and underappreciates their contributions to the workplace.
By far the question I am asked most often is “how can I find the best IT workers,” and recently, with the job market for many areas statistically at 0%, “how can I find any IT workers!” I also field questions about how to retain those workers – whether it is ensuring that a consultant stays on through the duration of a finite project or retaining key permanent employees. People are unpredictable and motivated by numerous different things and not all of them are in your control. But there are things you can pay attention to that can make a difference. In our new eBook, The 3 Critical Things You Must Do To Attract The Very best IT Talent, ATR provides our advice on what you can do to find, attract and retain the best performers in the industry.
Perhaps control is the wrong word, too definitive – influence is a better choice. While there is great diversity and range in what matters to an employee, there is also some consensus about the things that most people care about. Based on these factors, there are concrete actions that you can take to make your company more attractive to the top professionals that you want to hire.
It’s one of our worst nightmares: an IT contractor walks out on an assignment in the middle of the day. My heart sank when I read the story of a UI/UX Designer placed at Apple who did just that. Contract Worker Walks Out on His Dream Job at Apple – Literally. Thanks to Staffing Talk for covering Jordan Price’s self-published piece. The story in short is that Price, placed on a temporary assignment at Apple through a subcontract, thought he had landed his dream job. Instead, he reports numerous problems including a bumpy onboarding process, too many meetings that he felt were disruptive to productivity, long hours, and, most concerning, a boss who was insulting, bordering on harassing. As to why he didn’t talk to someone and just quit, he says, “I didn’t feel there was anyone to turn to. It was unclear who exactly I even worked for or who I should share my grievances with.”
The search for the best ways of attracting and retaining talent is a never ending quest and there is no shortage of advice available on how to do it. One nearly universally accepted truth is that it helps to know what your workers want. Money is not the only motivating factor and sometimes not the most important one. We’ve written about this before in Staffing 360 (Are you Building Temples? and Training and Opportunity Key to Employee Retention). Today we offer you a quick reminder of many of things we’ve reported before. Glassdoor has put together a good infographic specific to recruiting software engineers, and it concurs on many fronts with what we’ve said previously.
Trying to find top talent is especially challenging these days in the IT industry. Many of the top performers, those with the most desirable skills and experience, are already employed. Those that are actively looking are heavily wooed, have their pick of the opportunities, and don’t last on the market long. Every interaction you have with a potential candidate influences their opinion of your company. Every facet of the experience is a potential to win them over or to turn them off.
The current year is waning and the new one looms just ahead, which means we’ll be reading plenty about hot trends and what 2014 holds – in fashion, entertainment, weather, business, in everything it seems. The predictions will come fast and furious in the next few weeks and in fact have already started. For example, Gartner Research recently published its annual Top 10 strategic technology trends that “have the potential to affect individuals, businesses and IT organizations. This year's list reflects the increasing impact of the Nexus of Forces: mobile, social, cloud and information.” Their report is interesting and offers food for thought on what the upcoming year will bring in IT. Over the next few months, I’m sure I’ll read more research and opinions, and probably pass a few of them along to the readers of Staffing 360.
At this point everyone in our industry is aware of the historically low levels of unemployment in IT. The competition for skilled IT workers of all types has been hot for a while now and shows little sign of abating, particularly in areas like project management and development. Salaries are on the rise and some of the perks and benefits being offered haven’t been seen in years. While hiring overall in the current economy still seems sluggish and many job seekers report multiple rounds of interviews and long hiring processes, sometimes months, in the IT world good candidates don’t last on the market more than a few weeks, sometimes they’re gone even faster.