How do you keep your in-house IT skills? The number of companies offering employee retention bonuses has increased from 12% to 44% during the past year, according to research conducted by META Group.
At a time when many technology workers would be happy just to have a job, a large number of companies are paying a premium to retain their key IT skills. According to META Group's recent survey of 600 US companies, retention bonuses have been increasing steadily.
A continued imbalance in the availability of key IT skills is driving this surprising trend. Although the total number of available IT workers in the market exceeds the demand, the number of individuals with key skills continues to lag behind, keeping salaries high and meaning that retention bonuses are increasingly necessary. Among the IT skills that are considered most difficult to retain are e-commerce (24%), internet (24%), and application development skills (20%).
How to keep them
It costs less to keep your key employees than it does to find, hire and train new ones. Employers must therefore consider introducing incentives to keep their key IT staff in place. For example:
- Try to provide continuous learning opportunities for employees to help them perfect their skills and expand their own knowledge.
- Offer work/life balance incentives - such as a flexible working hours, or 'tele-working' (remote desktop) options.
- Consider extra benefits such as on-site day care and postal services.
- Give your top performers access to interesting and challenging projects, and provide training in the latest technologies as required.
- Provide qualified financial assistance for your employees' personal needs (for mortgages, car loans, etc.)
- Communicate your recognition of high-performance employees, or give specific awards to emphasize employee value.
- Ensure clarity in career paths, and make career advancement attainable.
The 2002 IT Staffing and Compensation Guide is a collection of IT staffing and retention-related research containing facts, figures and guidance for attracting, compensating, and retaining business-critical IT talent. Salary information was based upon interviews with more than 600 compensation and IT specialists within Global 2000 organisations ranging across various industries.
The report analyses and compares workforce and compensation trends within four geographic regions in the US (those being Northeast, South/Southwest, Midwest and West) and among eight economic sectors: IT services, high-technology, government, retail, banking & finance, energy & utilities, healthcare, and manufacturing.