by Sharon Florentine

Tight IT job market means employers will pay more

Oct 04, 2016
CareersIT JobsIT Skills

Tech skills remain in high demand and that means well-paying IT jobs are about to pay even better.

It’s common knowledge that an IT career pays well. But if you’re an IT pro looking for a new role, your paycheck could get a whole lot heftier.

IT staffing company Modis surveyed 500 IT professionals responsible for key decisions, including hiring, between August 1 and August 9, 2016. The research, Tech Trends: IT Leaders and the Employment Market, shows that approximately 32 percent of IT organizations are willing to offer a 10 percent to 15 percent salary increase to currently employed IT professionals in an effort to attract elite talent.

[ Related story: CIOs, CTOs playing greater role in technology decisions ]

The new world order

“This research validates that this is the “new world order” for companies; to get the right talent, they’re going to have to pay for it. And they won’t be able to keep the talent they do have when the market’s paying 10 percent to 15 percent more. Today’s employers need to be open to negotiation and today’s candidates need to be willing to negotiate,” says Jack Cullen, president of Modis.

While 26.4 percent of respondents say salary is the most important benefit for attracting talent, salary alone won’t keep organizations competitive, according to the research. Candidates also are looking for work-life balance and flexibility, as well as the opportunity to grow and develop in their career, the research shows.

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“Companies are finally listening to what people want and what they need to succeed. Whether that’s the ability to work at home, have flexible hours or perks like ping pong tables or Friday happy hours. Companies also are realizing that candidates aren’t just looking at the current role, but what the next step is in their career evolution, so they’re making investments in that area, too,” Cullen says.

IT and tech leaders also believe that employees highly value the ability to innovate and create new products, projects or ideas (21.6 percent) as well as having upward mobility in their career (22.6 percent), so employers are keen to provide these opportunities to potential talent, Cullen says.

And if you’re an IT professional specializing in areas like cybersecurity, expect to see an even greater salary bump, according to the research.

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Stressing about security

Cybersecurity and privacy are the top concerns keeping IT decision-makers up at night, with 45.2 percent saying they’re the most important issues facing their organization; about 40 percent say external threats were their biggest security concern. Research also shows that, despite these concerns, 22 percent of respondents say security and infrastructure skills are the hardest to find.

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“How can you put a price tag on securing your organization, especially when there’s a major shortage of these skills? We’re seeing huge premiums being offered to professionals who can bring those cybersecurity skills to the table; as well as being able to balance that security and privacy with accessibility and ease-of-use, especially on mobile devices,” Cullen says.

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