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More than half of IT professionals surveyed are likely to start looking for a new job in the next 12 months

Tech professionals who switched employers in the past year cited better pay, a lack of training and development, and poor work-life balance as the top reasons to jump, Skillsoft says.

Image: Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock

IT professionals are increasingly seeking greener pastures, putting more pressure on employers to retain existing talent, according to a new report from online learning provider Skillsoft. be first 2022 IT Skills and Salary ReportSkillsoft surveyed nearly 8,000 people, including IT professionals and IT leaders. The purpose of the study was to analyze IT salaries and certifications, find out what challenges the industry faces, learn how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the field, and see how hiring and retention issues are impacting on employees and employers.

Why many IT professionals are likely to look for a new job

Employee retention turned out to be one of the biggest challenges. Of the tech professionals surveyed, 53% said they were very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. Only 23% of respondents said they were somewhat or very unlikely to look for a new job.

In line with the desire to look for work elsewhere, respondents specified some things they want or expect from their employer. In short, they want companies to operate more ethically, sustainably and transparently. They want more diversity, equality and inclusion, and they want more development and opportunities to grow.

“And if they don’t get it, they’ll get their skills elsewhere,” the report said.

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On the positive side, most IT professionals surveyed believed that their current employer takes diversity, equity and inclusion seriously. However, a small number of survey participants have encountered DE&I-related problems at work. About 25% are affected by micro-aggressions, a term for everyday interactions that intentionally or unintentionally result in a hostile or humiliating situation. Some respondents have experienced blatant harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

Why Some IT Professionals Have Switched Employers or Positions

IT professionals who have already changed employers in the past year cited several reasons for doing so, with 38% pointing to higher pay, 33% to a lack of training and development and 25% to a lack of work balance and private. Other factors that drove IT professionals to switch companies included department or company management, lack of equity in pay, lack of equity in opportunity, organizational performance, and lack of company resources.

Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed changed jobs but stayed with the same employer. About 49% of them did this to increase their chances of growth and development, 37% wanted to make better use of their skills and abilities and 29% got a promotion. Other factors for making these types of moves included an increase in compensation, learning new skills to meet organizational needs, department or company management, organizational performance, and a lack of balance between work and private.

Talent retention and recruitment are the biggest challenges

IT leaders are well aware of the difficulties in retaining and attracting qualified people. When asked to name the biggest challenges in their workplace, 30% of them mentioned talent retention, while 24% pointed to talent recruitment. Many organizations are also consolidating jobs, making it more difficult to fill key roles.

Managing the IT and workplace challenges is a responsibility of both employees and employers, Skillsoft said. Workers without the required skills may be overlooked for pay raises and promotions and are likely to find poor growth opportunities. Employers who do not focus on training and other factors can experience high turnover and productivity losses.

How employers can attract and retain qualified employees?

To help employers better address the challenges of retaining and attracting skilled workers, Skillsoft suggests asking themselves the following questions.

  • Where do you want to go with your organization? What’s stopping you from taking that route?
  • What skills do your employees need today and tomorrow to be successful?
  • Which certification or learning paths can you use to attract new employees?
  • How can you train your employees without creating too much downtime?
  • How can your organization attract new talent in a competitive market?

If you plan to upskill employees or simply provide more learning and development opportunities, TechRepublic Premium’s cross-training toolkit is an excellent resource to keep your employees trained and engaged in their career development.

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