by Byron Connolly

Employers providing ‘counter offers’ to keep IT workers

May 13, 20152 mins

Employers are providing costly and ineffective ‘counter offers’ to retain IT workers in a rebounding market, according to a recruiter.

Sean Roocroft, NSW director at Greythorn says counter offering has returned to the market with a bang in 2015 as many employers remain stuck in the defensive mode they adopted last year.

“Employers have been caught out by how quickly the market is now moving, particularly around IT projects such as security, mobility and digital,” Roocroft said.

“These candidates are in short supply and highly sought after – employers don’t want to let them go. However, relying on a counter offer strategy in this type of market is not effective, and ultimately, very costly.”

He added that many employers have not proactively increased salaries for their staff and are reacting to these changed market conditions only when faced with the possible loss of current staff.

“This is creating a great deal of frustration among employees,” he said. “Our experience tells us most employees who accept a counter offer will leave the organisation within 6 to 12 months anyway. Counter offering employees is a very short term strategy.”

Employers need to find out what motives their IT personnel and then improve satisfaction around those drivers, he said.

“By the time you have a resignation letter on your desk or find yourself involved in a counter offer situation, the battle, and the employee, is already lost.”

This return to a talent short employment market is not limited to permanent roles, adds Lindsey Greenaway, managing consultant of Greythorn’s contracts division.

“IT projects are picking up and we are once again seeing contractors with multiple job offers on the table at any one time. Employers seeking to hire contractors need to be prepared to move quickly,” Greenaway said.

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