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Tech salaries have been on the rise for some time, but there has been a significant uptick over the last few years thanks to a tightening job market. Unemployment in IT fields has dropped below three percent, which means that the IT pros who want jobs, have jobs. At the same time, tech salaries rose eight percent last year, as companies fought to find and keep the best and brightest. Employers should brace themselves for this trend to continue and should develop strategies to remain competitive when it comes to attracting top talent.

The Insatiable Demand for Data Security

Data security and user privacy are a top concern for companies in all sectors. External threats are on the rise, and a single data breach can impact profits due to bad PR for months after disclosure. The demand for IT talent with cybersecurity skills is rising, and even positions that are not directly related to data security are impacted by today’s landscape. No matter what a position’s function within the organization, all IT employees must have a working understanding of security practices and protocols and they must demonstrate that they understand and value the importance of security.

The IT Skills Gap Is Still Going Strong

The IT skill gap isn’t closing rapidly enough to hedge rapid salary growth. U.S. colleges and universities are not producing enough skilled graduates to keep pace with demand in areas like security, big data and business intelligence. Even if schools were producing enough graduates to meet needs, the fact remains that most companies need professionals with several years’ worth of real-world experience to meet performance expectations. That means organizations must draw from limited passive candidate pools, and salary is the simplest way to entice experienced workers to a new opportunity. With so many companies scrambling to poach each other’s top talent, retention is also becoming a factor in driving up salaries.

What If You Can’t Compete On Salary?

Rising tech salaries are a concern for many organizations. There are limits to what a company can afford to pay, but failing to keep pace with the market can put you out of the running for talented professionals. Companies that can’t compete on salary must get creative with benefits packages to even the playing field. IT pros are demanding better work-life balance, and offering candidates the chance to achieve that balance can keep you in the running. Flex time, telecommuting options, generous paid leave packages, strong healthcare benefits and profit sharing should be considered if you simply can’t max out salary structures.

Additionally, tapping into the robust market of consultants and contract employees can help close skill gaps while managing costs. Strategic utilization of talented short-term employees can help critical projects stay on track without overextending salary budgets.

If you are looking for new ways to compete for top IT talent in today’s tight market, it’s time to talk to the award-winning team at Talon. Contact us today to learn about our proven track record of success and to discover the ways in which we can help you achieve your recruiting goals.

 

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