Global tech salaries increase as companies struggle to retain talent

tech salaries

A good salary is now the main motivator for tech workers to switch jobs, with four in 10 IT professionals headhunted into a new job this year on much higher pay, according to the fourth annual Harvey Nash Technology Survey.

Salary was cited by 77 per cent as the main drawcard for a job change, up from 16 per cent in 2014, overtaking work/life balance.

The survey canvassed the views of nearly 3000 technology professionals from more than 30 countries, with a significant proportion of respondents from the UK, US, Switzerland, Australia, and across the European Union.

The increased pressure on salaries is driven by skills shortages, reported by 53 per cent of technology hiring managers globally in 2015, up from 51 per cent in 2014. Large and small technology companies are driving up pay and incentives with hopes of recruiting and retaining scarce tech talent, with almost three quarters of tech (73 per cent) believing their next role will be outside their current organisation.

“For many companies, attracting and retaining high tech staff has become their number one concern. Whilst work/life balance is clearly a factor, what this report shows is how important pay and working on ground-breaking digital projects have now become as motivators for changing jobs,” said Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash Group.

“We see the impact of this with larger companies citing so-called unfair advantages being given to hugely successful digital start-ups like Uber and Airbnb. The reality is that highly talented technology talent aspire to work for start-ups, recognised disruptors and challenger brands, so rhetoric like this is self-defeating. What traditional organisations need to do is urgently formulate positive strategies to compete effectively with the digital insurgents. That includes re-thinking their pay and employment proposition to the pool of high tech talent.”

When it comes to retaining staff, pay and work/life balance are not the only two motivators, with opportunities to work on innovative projects also cited by 69 per cent of tech workers as a way to keep them engaged.

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