Research from Robert Half says more than seven in 10 (71 per cent) Australian CIOs have experienced an increase in voluntary employee turnover – defined as employees freely resigning – among permanent IT professionals within their organisations over the last three years. One in five (20 per cent) say the increase has been “significant” and only three per cent claim the level has decreased.
With reports suggesting the number of IT workers in Australia will increase from 600,000 in 2014 to 722,000 in 2020, IT professionals are presented with an increase in job opportunities to move to more lucrative roles in a market characterised by a burgeoning skills shortage. Moreover, with 31 per cent of IT employees leaving the organisation in two years or less according to Australian CIOs, employers need to continue to focus on staff retention initiatives to keep their top performers long-term amidst a booming IT jobs market.
The research, which surveyed 160 Australian CIOs, reveals voluntary IT employee turnover is highest in large organisations (83 per cent), followed by medium (77 per cent) and small-sized organisations (52 per cent). Of the CIOs who say voluntary employee turnover has increased in the past three years, the top five reasons are: more IT job opportunities in the market (46 per cent), poor career progression prospects within the company (41 per cent), concern over company performance and fear of redundancies (36 per cent), poor work-life balance (34 per cent), and a desire for more diverse career experiences (32 per cent).
Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia said: “The technology market is booming, creating an abundance of opportunities for talented IT professionals as companies increasingly adopt new technologies that require specialised skillsets to manage them. In this market, in-demand IT professionals who are ambitious to explore new career opportunities will seek to move elsewhere – simply because they can.
“Losing top performers can negatively affect a company’s bottom line in many ways, from reduced productivity and staff morale to increased recruitment and training costs, as well as the loss of company knowledge and experience, highlighting the need for companies to have a proactive and well-developed staff retention strategy,” he added. “Whilst exploring new career opportunities is the prerogative of the individual employee, IT employers can take certain steps to reduce staff turnover by listening and addressing their employees’ concerns before they escalate. Regular salary benchmarking, providing challenging projects and career progression opportunities as well as employee recognition are all effective retention measures,” concluded Andrew Morris.