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IT employers having to up salaries and bonuses to attract talent

14 Feb 2019

As the modern economy relies increasingly on data, it’s certainly a good time to be working in IT.

According to specialised recruiter Robert Half, in Australia the 2018 annual wage growth in the IT sector was reported to be 3.3 percent, higher than the national average across all industries.

This comes down to competition among organisations, and Robert Half says in light of this IT employers need to be prepared to offer attractive remuneration packages in order to allure and retain the best talent to their company.

Robert Half commissioned an independent survey of 160 Australian CIOs to gain an idea of what incentives IT employers are using to secure and hold onto their top-performing talent.

What’s on offer to attract IT talent

As aforementioned, it’s a good time to be working in IT, as 87 percent of CIOs say it is more challenging to attract qualified IT professionals to their organisation that it was five years ago, with companies needing to adjust their staff attraction initiatives in the skills-short market.

This means that many IT employers are prepared to pay a premium to staff their teams with the best talent. 50 percent are offering higer base pay and/or bonus to attract top IT talent, while 42 percent are offering additional employee benefits, and 39 percent are promoting an enhanced work culture, such as health and wellbeing programmes.

What’s on offer to retain IT talent

Obviously, attracting IT talent is only half the job as IT employers are striving to keep their employees on board. To avoid losing their top performers, Australia’s IT employers are being proactive in their approach to staff retention.

The top three initiatives CIOs have focused on over the last three years to retain IT staff are offering a higher salary (48 percent), developing an enhanced work culture (48 percent), and attributing more employee benefits (38 percent).

Robert Half Australia director Andrew Morris says as the IT sector booms, companies are calling for the highest calibre candidates to remain competitive, drive innovation, and implement new technologies faster than ever before.

“Consequently, as top IT talent becomes more highly sought-after in Australia’s tightening IT talent pool, companies are required to offer competitive salaries in order to successfully attract, recruit and retain the most skilled and talented candidates. To be effective at attracting and retaining top talent, remuneration should be part of a wider, ongoing dialogue between employer and employee as the most appealing remuneration packages are those that are tailored and designed with individual employees in mind,” says Morris.

“Through open communication channels, employers can establish and implement incentives that appeal to individual motivations. This is especially true for millennial-aged workers who tend to favour professional development opportunities over a higher salary, and workers with children who may value increased annual leave and flexible hours more highly.”