Salary increases required to secure favoured IT candidates.

Paying for IT talent.

An independent survey of 160 Australian CIOs commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half has shown that for seven out of every 10 new hires, IT employers have had to increase the salary amount originally offered to secure their favoured candidate. The finding comes as Australian companies contend with a growing skills shortage in the technology sector.

At the same time a separate survey of Australian jobseekers in the IT sector published in the newly-released 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide has shown 59 per cent of respondents cite salary as the most important factor to them when looking for a new job or accepting a job offer – a strong indication that financial rewards factor highly in a candidate’s decision-making process.

A focus on financial incentives to attract high-calibre talent comes as no surprise given almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) Australian CIOs say it is more challenging to attract qualified IT professionals to their organisation compared to five years ago. The survey findings are reflective of broader wage growth trends within the IT sector as the 2018 annual wage growth in the Australian IT sector was reported to be 3.3 per cent higher than the national average across all industries.

CIOs have revealed which factors would prompt them to pay more than the initially-planned base salary. The top three considerations from CIOs that could earn IT jobseekers a higher base salary are: experience (48 per cent), technical skills (46 per cent) and industry experience (38 per cent) – a good indication of where ambitious IT candidates should focus their efforts on in order to earn a higher salary.

Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia said: “The global technology race is in full swing, with many businesses adopting innovative technologies, such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, natural language processing and virtual reality, to differentiate themselves from the competition. Consequently, demand is rapidly rising for high-calibre tech candidates in an increasingly competitive talent market, which means more skilled IT jobseekers are able to negotiate higher salaries as companies endeavour to secure their preferred candidate.

“While offering higher salaries is important in a competitive environment, non-financial incentives are also an effective way to appeal to highly sought-after workers in the marketplace,” Morris adds. “Specifically, as the future working environment continues to become more agile thanks to technology and changing attitudes, increased flexibility around working hours and location is also a highly attractive benefit for today’s workforce.”

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