High rates of turnover presents the greatest recruitment challenge for IT according to a report from Curo Talent: IT Talent Acquisition – the recruiter’s view 2019. Curo Talent’s biennial report aims to recognise the current state of IT recruitment from the perspective of both in-house recruiters and hiring managers – a group that represents both c-level executives and departmental IT managers. While lack of talent and IT skills shortages have long been discussed as an issue, this year’s survey identified high rates of staff turnover as an equally troubling problem.
In all, 30 per cent of hiring managers surveyed agreed that employee turnover is their greatest recruitment challenge, with a further 13 per cent of in-house recruiters agreeing with this statement. It is clear that, while businesses are savagely competing to initially recruit IT talent, these sought-after experts are too easily enticed away from their positions.
What could be perceived as a lack of loyalty from IT workers, however, is an unavoidable side effect of high levels of demand for certain skills. Britain’s IT talent shortage has long been highlighted as an area of concern. However, this same publicity has enabled IT workers to demand increasingly high salaries, flexibility and benefits from their employers.
Interestingly, there were differences in opinion between in-house recruiters and hiring managers. Hirers overwhelmingly named staff turnover as the greatest challenge. Recruiters however, put this problem in fifth place, behind reduced EU candidates because of Brexit at 20 per cent, and attracting candidates that fit the right company culture, which sat at 17 per cent. This contrast implies that, while recruitment departments may witness an influx of IT workers entering an organisation, the levels of disruption caused by employee turnover do not impact them as much as hiring managers.
The solution is likely to be in two parts; more efficient recruitment models and human resourcing strategies designed to encourage loyalty.
“Recruiters need to challenge the status quo if they want break the cycle of staff churn,” explained Sarah Wighton, client acquisition lead at Curo Talent. “Our report shows a decline in the use of traditional channels for hiring IT staff. It seems some organisations are prepared to experiment with new recruitment models to attract the right staff.”
An earlier report by Curo Talent examined the recruitment process from the candidate’s perspective. It revealed that getting IT staff to stay is not just about a pay rise. When asked “What would encourage you to stay with your current employer?” higher pay and interesting work were the top two answers for both permanent and contract IT staff. The need for IT staff to work on interesting projects was highlighted further when comparing IT staff with their non-IT colleagues. 25 per cent of IT staff said interesting work would encourage them to stay, compared with just 14 per cent of non-IT staff.