Friday, 02 May 2008 05:19

Staying Power

Written by Sandra Lavoy
CIO Survey Reveals Most Effective Retention Methods

In the information technology (IT) industry, money talks, but it's not the only employee-loyalty tool, a new survey shows. When chief information officers (CIOs) were asked to identify the most effective ways to keep IT staff, compensation (27 per cent) topped the list. Providing flexible schedules was close behind, cited by 21 per cent of respondents; another 17 per cent said opportunities for professional development helped to improve retention rates.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of
information technology professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 270 CIOs across Canada.

CIOs were asked, "Which of the following elements have you found most
effective at improving IT staff retention?"

Increased compensation.......................... 27%
Offering flexible schedules....................... 21%
Professional development or training......... 17%
Telecommuting..................................…… 7%
Extra vacation days or time off.................. 4%
Granting company stock or options........... 3%
None.........................................……….... 1%
Don't know/other...............................….. 20%
TOTAL ................................................100%

Attractive compensation is a key component of an effective retention program as it shows employees their contributions are valued. A corporate culture that includes work/life balance and training options is also highly valued by IT professionals and is crucial for retaining top performers in a competitive hiring environment.

Effective Retention Programs would include the following components to improve staff retention rates:

Pay competitively. Periodically benchmark employee compensation
against industry-standard ranges to ensure your salaries are keeping
pace. Robert Half Technology produces an annual Salary Guide with
salary ranges for more than 60 IT positions.

Support work/life balance. To prevent teams from burning out, ensure
that workloads are realistic. Encourage employees to ask for help
when they need it, and consider bringing in project professionals to
help during peak periods.

Offer and promote training. Provide IT staff access to the courses
and certification programs they need to grow their careers. Make sure
employees are aware of professional development opportunities.


Sandra Lavoy is a vice-president with Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Technology has more than 100 locations in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.rht.com. For more information, please call 1-800-793-5533.

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