IT Salaries: Not As Important As They Used To Be - InformationWeek

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David Wagner
David Wagner
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IT Salaries: Not As Important As They Used To Be

An advance peek at Greythorn Recruitment's Inside Technology Market Report 2015 shows that salary isn't the only thing motivating IT professionals to change jobs.

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We all want to make more money, right? Probably. But in the past year money seems to have become a secondary reason for IT professionals to switch jobs.

We had an advance peek at Greythorn Recruitment's Inside Technology Market Report 2015 (soon to be published at this link), which includes results from a survey of 492 IT pros conducted at the end of 2014. Respondents listed salary as the fifth most important reason they left their most recent job. That's down from the No. 2 spot in the prior year's report. Career development/advancement was the No. 1 reason respondents in both years' reports left their previous jobs.

The top 5 reasons IT professionals are seeking new work this year are:

  • Career development/advancement (25% of respondents)
  • New challenge/more interesting work (12%)
  • Laid off (10%)
  • Management/leadership  (7%)
  • Salary (6%)

In the 2014 report, 12% of respondents said they left their jobs to make more money. There are likely a few reasons for the change in priorities. For one, salaries are rising naturally, so people may not have to leave their current job to increase their compensation. Related to that are reports of an IT talent gap, which might be encouraging managers to pay more to retain talent than in past years. At the same time, unemployment is so low in IT that job seekers can afford to be picky.

It should be pointed out that, for the most part, the percentage of respondents who cited non-salary-related reasons for leaving a job aren't changing much year-to-year. For example, 12% of respondents  cited desire for a new challenge or more interesting work in the 2015 report, compared with 11% in the 2014 report. In other words, while other factors mean the same to IT pros, the money doesn't mean as much in 2015 as it did the year before.

(Image: liz west via Flickr)

(Image: liz west via Flickr)

Some other notable findings from the report:

  • 77% of respondents say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs.
  • The number of "very satisfied" IT workers went from 17% to 28%.
  • When it comes to what makes people happy in their current job, it is no surprise that challenge and career progression remain first and second, but "colleagues/boss" is a rising concern.
  • Despite the good economy, the number of respondents looking to change jobs in 2015 is going down. Only 43% of respondents in the 2015 report said they are "likely to very likely" to look for a job, compared with 53% of respondents in the 2014 report.

Based on this report, the hiring news for enterprises does not look so good. The pool of IT professionals who said they're seeking a new job is shrinking. Meanwhile, money -- the top thing most companies use in competing for talent -- is not the biggest draw for IT job seekers. IT workers are getting picky.

[ That's especially tough since more people are looking to hire. Read IT Hiring Outlook is Upbeat Study Finds. ]

Now for some good news. Because IT professionals are looking for their next job to be a good fit in ways other than salary, they're less likely to job-hop. If you nab good IT talent, you'll be able to retain those folks with an assortment of factors beyond salary. Considering the cost of replacing talent, retaining it might be a great way to save money and stay competitive in your industry.

What do you think? Is money becoming less important to you? Or is money at least becoming reasonable enough to find you can select a new job based on other factors? Do you agree that the pool of people looking to leave their jobs is shrinking? Tell us in the comments section below.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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