New research revealed by recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology UK suggests that the IT and technology market is changing with average permanent employee tenure falling.  According to Chief Information Officers (CIOs), an increase in job opportunities on the market (48%), stagnant career prospects (43%) and a desire for more diverse career experiences (39%) all contribute to increased levels of voluntary employee turnover. High workloads and stress (27%) and a poor work–life balance (18%) also feature as top reasons for employees to look for jobs elsewhere. 

As demand for technology talent continues to rise, businesses are facing a skills shortage of experienced IT professionals, with three in 10 (30%), struggling to find candidates with the requisite skills to do the job. Interestingly, 68% of CIOs said they plan to increase the number of contract professionals over the next 12 months, as they look to quickly fill gaps. This approach is most prevalent in IT security, networking and software/application development.

“As the technology landscape continues to evolve at a rapid rate, savvy technology professionals are looking for opportunities where they can continue to be challenged and add to their expertise” said Neil Owen, Director at Robert Half Technology UK. “To compete effectively in the current job market, not only do businesses need to offer attractive salary packages but they need to sell candidates on the opportunity it provides their career. Outlining the career development opportunities, offering an exciting business model, staying at the forefront of innovation and using the latest technologies are all valuable factors for both attracting and retaining key employees.”

Employees are typically happiest during their first year in a role. To maintain this, businesses must look to build an environment that encourages a good work-life balance, creates worthwhile work, and enables staff to feel appreciated and accomplished in their roles. 

“The departure of a single employee can turn departments upside down, so imagine the chasm left behind when multiple professionals, from the same department, leave a company,” continued Owen. “Advanced skills and knowledge are difficult and expensive to replace so going the extra mile to ensure employees feel fulfilled, valued and have a clear path to achieving their goals, will be key to retaining the best talent”.