Understanding the Candidate Perspective in the Tri-State Area

What does it take to attract, retain and grow top IT talent? As the war for highly skilled tech talent continues, it becomes even more critical to fully understand what candidates want when considering their next career move or opting to stay in their current role. 

To gain a better picture of what area tech pros think, this past June, Benchmark IT surveyed top IT professionals located in metro-area New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. 

Here are the results. Some may be surprising:

What is your most pressing concern as you consider the next stage of your career?

Nearly 50% indicated that career advancement and learning new skills are the most pressing concerns when considering changing jobs (vs. 16% reporting compensation).

TAKEAWAY: Organizations that offer robust development and training opportunities have a leg up in attracting and retaining the best talent.

What do you consider is the most important factor in accepting a job offer?

“Skills growth and opportunity” is more than three times more important than salary (41% vs. 12%) when accepting a new job.

TAKEAWAY: Tri-State tech pros seek and value jobs with companies that offer ongoing skills and career development opportunities.

What is the most important factor keeping you in your current role?

A combined 42% of respondents note that challenging and rewarding projects and a sense of value and recognition are the most important factors in retention.

TAKEAWAY: Managers who foster a team environment, timely and constructive feedback, and career advancement opportunities have a higher likelihood of retaining key employees.

How do you view the current IT job market in our area?

In a seemingly contradictory statistic, only 30% of respondents cite they could easily or relatively quickly find a new job, while a surprising 70% report it would be difficult or require a dedicated search to find the right role.

TAKEAWAY: Further data is necessary, but these results may point to potential “culture fit” versus “culture add” issues, ageism, or lack of experience in emerging technologies that employers seek in new hires.

Please evaluate the following statement: “I am more optimistic about my job prospects in 2018 versus last year.”

In contrast to the earlier statistic, 52% of respondents report being more optimistic about their job prospects in 2018 versus last year.

TAKEAWAY: A possible indication that continued demand for area tech talent may provide more opportunity for diverse or otherwise marginalized segments of the tech talent marketplace.

Do you anticipate making a job change in the next 12 months?

An alarming 60% of respondents anticipate making a job change within the next year—nearly five times greater than the existing turnover rate among IT pros.

TAKEAWAY: Department heads, team leads and in-house hiring managers need to swiftly and proactively communicate with essential team members to address and mitigate any issues that could lead to surprise departures. For those looking to add staff, it’s time to look at how your firm stacks up in the key retention and acquisition programs addressed in this report.

Does your organization have the talent you need to keep up with the changing tech industry? Benchmark IT can help you find, attract, and hire the top professionals you need.