IT directors need to bring back dotcom-style perks to stop key staff jumping ship to more lucrative contracting jobs.
Numbers of IT contractors are swelling fast – up from 5% a year ago to 25% of all IT workers today – lured not only by the better pay, but also an improved work-life balance, according to a ReThink Recruitment survey.
“A lot of employers have become complacent about staff retention in their IT departments and are now paying the price as mission-critical projects lose key staff,” says Jon Butterfield, managing director at ReThink Recruitment.
Pay incentives remain a key way of keeping staff. With IT employment levels running at almost half the national average at 2.7%, companies are returning to aggressive poaching tactics to keep fully staffed. ReThink suggests companies should increase the rate at which they benchmark their salaries to ensure they remain competitive.
IT heads should also get creative and find other incentives to keep staff, including better training and development and fast-track programmes for high achievers. Secondments are a good way of keeping people’s morale up, alongside offering flexible and remote working.
Firms should also look to pre-dotcom perks such as bonuses for long-serving staff and share options to encourage staff to stay put.
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This was first published in August 2006