Today is National IT Professionals Day. The field continues to evolve and competition can be aggressive. In fact, according to our 2015 BenchmarkPro survey results, hire-on rate for System Administrators is up 11.59%. Also worth noting, the average flat dollar bonus paid for Business Analysts –IT, Level 1, is up 35.85% from last year. Competitive, indeed!
Employers across most, if not all, industries employ IT professionals. So, when you have quality IT professionals on your staff, who are helping advance the success of your business, how do you retain them? We sat down with Greg Wolf of Compdata’s Consulting division to tap into his expertise. Here are 3 key considerations for retaining your IT talent:
- Understand the work. It’s important to know what responsibilities your current IT staff is charged with. It is also important to understand your business’ priorities and work on the horizon, especially as it pertains to your IT department.
- Is there a big project or system overhaul coming in the next 6-12 months?
- Are there pending regulations that, if passed, you will need IT staffing to gain compliance?
Understanding the work allows you to evaluate your current staff, as well as make decisions about hiring and/or reorganizing. Your employees will be engaged when they believe you are making decisions based on a real understanding of the work.
- Job Structure Matters. Job structure impacts how employees see themselves. It also affects how employees view the market and their opportunities within it. Does your company have clear career ladders for employee progression? Employees want to understand their current scope of work and be fairly paid at market level for it, but they also want to understand the “next-step” opportunities available to them, as well as what’s required to get to that next level. If what is needed for the next level is a skill set, certification or experience, that should be clear to your employees. Career ladders should be transparent, concrete and attainable, not ambiguous based on potential. Understanding what could be next for them at your company helps deter them from looking elsewhere.
- Bring Other Factors Together. Jobs within an IT department usually work across an organization. As such, you should consider how your IT jobs relate across the organization. Questions to ask:
- Is their work valued by other departments?
- Are the departments they support structurally sound?
- Is there open communication between IT and the departments they support?
Because IT professionals work across the organization, you should also examine their internal equity. How do your IT employees perceive their own responsibilities, rewards and overall work experience in comparison to other employees in similar job levels across the company? IT employees, like any employees, do not want to feel like they are an afterthought or perceived as less-than within their own organization.
Retaining top talent in any field can be a challenge. It is especially challenging in a field seeing as much growth and demand as IT. Perhaps, maybe the simplest thing you can do today to help retain your IT professionals is say, “Thank you.” After all, it is National IT Professionals Day!