Survey: Half of IT workers eyeing greener pastures

Improving IT job market has employees feeling more confident and motivated -- but still considering new work opportunities

With the IT job market steadily improving, tech employees are feeling more engaged with their jobs and more loyal to their organizations. However, companies ought not to confuse that commitment with unyielding devotion. More than half of IT employees are ready and willing to entertain better job offers as they arise, more so than employees from any other sector. Organizations would be well-served loosening the IT salary purse-strings and finding other ways to keep their IT staff satisfied.

Such are the findings of a study released today by Randstad Technologies and Technisource, which found that 53 percent of IT workers plan to explore new job opportunities as the market picks up. At the same time, some 76 percent of those workers say they're proud to work for their organizations -- a 6 percent increase over last quarter.

"Our results underscore that IT workers are more apt to consider leaving their current jobs than employees in any other industry sector," said Bob Dickey, executive VP of technologies at Randstad. "This speaks volumes on the need for employers to truly understand what motivates this talent and how to carefully balance the desire to scale back on various workplace incentives with the need to have a workforce that wants your business to succeed just as much as you do."

Importantly for employers, IT workers appear keenly aware that the job market is improving, with IT security jobs ranking among the hottest prospects, as well as mobile development and hybrid jobs: 80 percent said they feel secure in their current jobs (5 percent higher than employees overall). What's more, nearly 60 percent said that the job market will pick up this year; only around 48 percent of employees shared that view last quarter.

Employers don't necessarily need to worry about their IT staffers running for the door immediately: 60 percent of IT employees report feeling satisfied with their salaries and benefits, and just 39 percent fear a cut in benefits, representing an 11 percent drop since last quarter. Fifty-five percent even expect a pay increase in the near future, while 64 percent said their company is making the right investments now in their workforce for the future.

Further, organizations don't need to worry about their IT employees slacking off as they job market improves: Three-quarters of IT employees said they feel inspired to do their best each day. Sixty-eight percent said they feel their efforts are recognized and valued, 5 percent higher than employees surveyed overall. Additionally, 67 percent indicate they trust their company leadership to make good decisions for the workforce, up 4 percent from the previous quarter.

Despite those heartening figures, more than half of IT employees said they weren't so satisfied with their jobs that they won't entertain better offers, for more than a couple of reasons. Among them, only 55 percent of respondents said their employers ensure a good work-life balance, a 6 percent drop since last quarter. Just 45 percent said their employers are doing a good job keeping employees motivated, a 6 percent decrease since Q4 of 2011. Finally, 63 percent of IT employees indicated that they enjoy going to work every day, 5 percent less than employees surveyed overall.

This article, "Survey: Half of IT workers eyeing greener pastures," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.