IT Workers Are Happy, But Will Still Leave for Something Better

Despite overall satisfaction with their current job situation, IT workers still show a readiness to jump ship when the next best thing comes along.

The majority of IT employees are engaged at work, loyal to their employers and inspired to do their best everyday, according to new survey findings from Randstad Technologies and Technisource. However, despite that, more than half (53 percent) are open to new employment opportunities, Think of it as the IT sector's version of The Five Year Engagement, a new film about a couple that is happy to be engaged but put marriage plans on an indefinite hold.

"The takeaway for employers is that they use whatever means to create a strong bond with their employees by engaging, recognizing and empowering them in order to minimize attrition," said Bob Dickey, executive vice president of technologies at Randstad U.S.

The latest Randstad Engagement Index findings, conducted in February, surveyed 3,000 IT workers, nationwide. The Randstad Engagement Index measures the attitudes and perceptions impacting employee engagement within companies.

Looking at IT sector's response to Randstad's six components of engagement, the survey found the following:

  • 76 percent of IT employees are proud to work for their company
  • 63 percent of IT employees enjoy going to work every day
  • 75 percent of employees feel inspired to do their best each day
  • 68 percent of IT employees feel their efforts at work are recognized and valued
  • 67 percent indicate they trust their company leadership to make good decisions for the workforce
  • 67 percent of employees believe their company shares their values

Not only did the survey indicate that IT employees are clearly satisfied with their jobs and employers but 80 percent feel secure in their jobs, and they're optimistic about the future:

  • More than three-fourths, or 77 percent, believe their company has a great future
  • 64 percent believe their company is making the right investments in their workforce for the future
  • 60 percent report being only a little or not at all concerned about having to take a pay cut

IT Workers Looking for the Next Best Thing

Despite the rosy relationship with their current job situation, IT respondents still showed a readiness to jump ship when the next best thing comes along. And, survey results indicate that 59 percent of respondents believe that those opportunities are on the horizon as more than half believe that the job market will pick up in 2012.

According to Dickey, opportunities in the IT sector are opening up with increasing pressure to find top talent. In fact, recent job demand in IT is for higher-level positions, such as project mangers, business architects and data analysts.

"What this tells us is that the economy is picking up as more companies start new project initiatives and make investments in infrastructure and development," he said. Dickey noted that improvements in IT job hiring is often a bell weather for overall employment growth.

As employers look to hire higher-level IT talent, Dickey sees a move away from or a dip in the number of companies interested in mid-level resources, staff augmentation services or contract workers.

Employers are advised to focus on engaging employees by making sure they're recognized for their contribution to the organization and valued for their efforts in order to avoid what might shape up to be an impending war for talent.

Taking into account a range of industry sectors and unique company cultures, Dickey suggests that companies invest in employee incentives, tools or programs perceived to be a benefit by employees in order to improve employee retention.

"It's very important for employers to understand what it is their employees are looking for and create those resources within the organization," he says.

While the Randstat survey revealed that IT employees were the most likely to explore other job opportunities, employees in other job sectors were not far behind. For example, 49 percent of finance and accounting employees and 48 percent of employees in engineering and pharma keep the door open to new jobs prospects, as well.##

Lynn Haber is a freelance writer based in Massachusetts.

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