The survey, by recruitment firm Robert Half, reveals that 71% of Australian chief information officers say voluntary employee turnover — defined as employees freely resigning — among permanent IT professionals has increased over the last three years and is highest in large organisations (83%), followed by medium (77%) and small-sized organisations (52%).
And one in five (20%) IT professionals say the increase in voluntary employee turnover has been “significant”, while only 3% say it has decreased.
Of the CIOs who say voluntary employee turnover has increased, 46% say it’s because there are more IT jobs in the market.
And while employee employee turnover is increasing, Robert Half says that reports suggesting the number of IT workers in Australia will increase from 600,000 in 2014 to 722,000 in 2020, means that IT professionals are presented with an increase in job opportunities.
According to the recruitment firm, IT professionals have the opportunities to move to more lucrative roles in a market characterised by a burgeoning skills shortage.
And with 31% of IT employees leaving the organisation in two years or less according to Australian CIOs, Robert Half says employers need to continue to focus on staff retention initiatives to keep their top performers long-term amidst a booming IT jobs market.
The survey of 160 Australian CIOs reveals that, of the CIOs who say voluntary employee turnover has increased in the past three years, the top five reasons are more IT job opportunities in the market (46%), poor career progression prospects within the company (41%), concern over company performance and fear of redundancies (36%), poor work-life balance (34%), and a desire for more diverse career experiences (32%).
“The technology market is booming, creating an abundance of opportunities for talented IT professionals as companies increasingly adopt new technologies that require specialised skillsets to manage them,” said Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia.
“In this market, in-demand IT professionals who are ambitious to explore new career opportunities will seek to move elsewhere – simply because they can.
“Losing top performers can affect a company’s bottom line in many ways, from reduced productivity and staff morale to increased recruitment and training costs, as well as the loss of company knowledge and experience, highlighting the need for companies to have a proactive and well-developed staff retention strategy.
“Whilst exploring new career opportunities is the prerogative of the individual employee, IT employers can take certain steps to reduce staff turnover by listening and addressing their employees’ concerns before they escalate. Regular salary benchmarking, providing challenging projects and career progression opportunities as well as employee recognition are all effective retention measures."