Lack of career development frustrating IT workers

IT workers seem to be becoming frustrated at the lack of careerdevelopment opportunities in the recession, though their employers disagree.

Research from recruiter Hays Information Technology, found 54 percent of technology employees said there was not enough scope for progression where they worked, while over two thirds said career progression opportunities were important in evaluating new roles.

Employers had a different view on the career progression they offered, with many saying they were confident that their staff had opportunities to progress within the company. Eight in 10 also said they maintained the right skills among their workforce to deliver an “excellent” IT service to their business.

Despite the recession and its attendant pressure on pay and bonuses, most IT staff surveyed by Hays said they were satisfied with other aspects including benefits.

Eight in 10 staff said having a decent basic salary and an interesting role were the principal factors in their decision to go for a job. And the same proportion said flexible working was an increasingly important benefit.

The top three most valued workplace benefits were pensions (52%), bonuses (51%) and private medical insurance (49|%). Some 693 employees and 369 employers were interviewed for the research.

Richard Horrocks, contracting director at Hays IT, said: ““For many employers, delivering strategic IT projects represents an opportunity for their organisations to move a step ahead of the competition and increase productivity. Benefits have remained competitive, as organisations are eager to retain talent.”

Iain Smith, founder of Diaz Research, which advises on best practice and benchmarking of IT staff, agreed with the findings of the Hays research.

He told Computerworld UK that retaining staff in a recession “should not in theory be a problem”. But, he added, “We have seen the return of a theme that first emerged as the dotcom boom started to crumble: employees as 'investment analysts' - looking at their own employer and assessing the business and business model, the wisdom of investing more of their lives and discretionary effort in such a company, etc.

“Sometimes it is those who decide that their employer may not be such a good long term investment, who are moving on.”

Despite this SThree, one of the UK’s leading IT recruiters, when reporting its results yesterday, said the number of technology staff switching jobs had fallen dramatically, as the tough economy deterred people from attempting to change company. Permanent placements fell 34 percent in the six months to 31 May, it said.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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