Most IT leaders will opt to increase compensation, establish professional training programs and offer flexible schedules to help retain their skilled IT workers, according to a new survey.

IT staffing consultancy Robert Half Technology surveyed some 1,400 CIOs to learn how they retain high-tech talent during this era of an imminent skills shortage, and a majority agree that money talks. Twenty-seven per cent said they find increased compensation the most effective strategy to improving IT staff retention. More than 20 per cent cited professional training or development as a useful tool, and 18 per cent said they offer their IT staffs flexible schedules.

“Attractive pay is always a key selling point for IT professionals, but it’s only one element of an effective retention program,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement.

More cash is always an incentive to stay, but Robert Half Technology reports that training opportunities help IT professionals in particular keep their skills current and tackle emerging technologies.

“Offering employees options for building their skills enhances their effectiveness on the job and demonstrates an investment in their long-term career growth,” Lee said.

CIOs resorted to other methods to keep staff happy. For instance, 7 per cent said they offer employees the chance to telecommute. Six per cent said they provide workers with extra vacation time, and 2 per cent offer staff company stock or other options as compensation.

“Creating an attractive corporate culture, which includes everything from training to work/life balance programs, is crucial for keeping valued employees, especially when the hiring environment for highly skilled professionals is competitive,” Lee said.



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