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Half of technology workers want to find a new job in 2020

Better pay and work/life balance are major reasons for tech workers to seek a new job, according to a new study

Half of professionals in the technology sector want to change jobs in 2020, according to a new survey by recruitment firm Harvey Nash.

The main reasons cited by participants in the Mapping the tech genome report include pay (59%) and work-life balance (40%) as the most attractive factors of a new role.

In addition, having a social purpose came up in the survey results as another important draw to a new job. In organisations where there is a “high social purpose”, the intention to move on is cited by 40% of those polled, while this increases to 56% for those working in other types of companies.

According to the study, another factor that appears to help in staff retention is skills training. Some 23% of tech professionals polled said they left their last job for greater opportunities for training and personal development elsewhere.

The study also found that three in 10 tech professionals expect their current skills to be out of date within three years. The proportion of those who expect their skills will be outdated rises to six in 10 within six years.

“Training and skills development perhaps speaks for itself – but social purpose is quite subtle,” said Harvey Nash’s chief executive, Beverley White.

“Having a clear social purpose is not only good in itself but plays an important part in the retention and attraction mix for tech businesses,” she said. “When you consider that hiring and opportunity costs can amount to tens of thousands of pounds per individual, understanding and acting on these influencing factors can make a huge difference to the bottom line.”

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Gender also plays an important role, according to White – herself the first female chief executive at Harvey Nash – with women 50% more likely to value social purpose as critical when choosing a job.

When it comes to reasons for leaving a job, having good line management is the main reason cited by participants, mentioned by 51% of those surveyed. The second-highest reason given was an individual’s boss, mentioned by 36% of professionals.

The UK sample of Harvey Nash’s global research covers 1,200 professionals.

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