Higher salaries, more employee benefits and improved workplace culture are the top three initiatives being used by Australian CIOs to both attract and retain top IT talent, research from recruiter Robert Half has found.
A survey of 160 CIOs found half were willing to pay a premium to staff their teams, offering higher remuneration (whether base pay or bonuses) to attract the right candidates.
Just over 40 per cent were offering additional benefits, and 39 per cent were promoting an “enhanced work culture”, such as health and wellbeing programs.
The findings were similar around IT executives’ efforts to retain the talent they already had: 48 per cent stumping up for pay rises, a similar number improving their workplace culture and 38 per cent offering added employee benefits.
“As Australia’s IT sector booms, companies are calling for the highest calibre candidates to remain competitive, drive innovation and implement new technologies faster than ever before,” said Robert Half Australia director, Andrew Morris.
"Consequently, as top IT talent becomes more highly sought-after in Australia’s tightening IT talent pool, companies are required to offer competitive salaries in order to successfully attract, recruit and retain the most skilled and talented candidates."
The findings come after annual wage growth in the Australian IT sector was reported to be 3.3 per cent last year, well above the national wage growth of two per cent.
A separate Robert Half survey last year found local tech bosses were planning to award salary increases to an average of 21 per cent of their IT staff with an average increase expected to be eight per cent.
Similar research by recruitment firm Hays found 32 per cent of companies in the IT and telecommunications sectors were intending to increase salaries by between three to six per cent while eight per cent would raise them by six per cent or more.
Almost nine in 10 (87 per cent) of CIOs responding to the Robert Half survey, said it is more challenging to attract qualified IT professionals to their organisation compared to five years ago. But higher remuneration isn’t the solution to everything, Morris warned.
“To be effective at attracting and retaining top talent, remuneration should be part of a wider, ongoing dialogue between employer and employee as the most appealing remuneration packages are those that are tailored and designed with individual employees in mind," he said.
"Through open communication channels, employers can establish and implement incentives that appeal to individual motivations."
“This is especially true for millennial-aged workers who tend to favour professional development opportunities over a higher salary, and workers with children who may value increased annual leave and flexible hours more highly,” Morris added.