Transforming Technology

Hiring in tech has been tough for some time, as an ever-evolving industry moving rapidly into the future tends to create skills gap and therefore a challenging recruitment market. As the industry expands outside of traditional hubs like Silicon Valley, the need for skilled talent across the country only grows.

That’s why it’s so important to understand exactly what motivates a tech professional to join and stick with a new company. Our new market report, Talent Trends 2023: The Invisible Revolution, presents the eye-opening results of a global survey of over 70,000 professionals.

The data reveals a seismic shift in the workforce’s professional priorities. Read on for an in-depth discussion of what this research shows about the changes currently hitting the technology hiring space.

Employers: Prepare for Sustained High Turnover

Following the pandemic, The Great Resignation saw many technology professionals leave employers for other roles or to become contractors. Our report found this high staff turnover trend will continue. Indeed, 85% of people working in tech reported that they were open to new opportunities.

The uncertain economic climate looks unlikely to dampen this appetite for change, with 57% of tech professionals saying they are more likely to look for a new job when the economy is performing poorly.

But what is the key to attracting and retaining top technology professionals in a market like this? Our research found that while company loyalty has lost its luster, professionals are looking for a specific set of criteria from their employers in 2023.

Download Talent Trends 2023: The Invisible Revolution Today

The Work-Life Equation: Pay + Flexibility + Career Growth

What makes for a desirable role in the post-pandemic era? Our research found three standout factors that influence worker’s decisions to seek new roles, accept offers, or stay put.

  1. Pay
  2. Flexibility
  3. Career progression

Together, these comprise what we call the Work-Life Equation – the value calculation that makes an organization an employer of choice. Below, we investigate each of the three, and why they are essential in technology.

1. Pay

Typically, at a time of economic uncertainty, salary growth grinds to a halt. Yet despite some of tech’s biggest employers making layoffs, talent in the sector is still in very short supply. As a result, salary growth in the space shows no sign of tapering. The demand for specialized skills has boosted salaries in cybersecurity, data, engineering, development, and program management.

Hiring managers are working in a candidate-driven market. As workers take a more transactional approach to work, salary has become more important than ever.

Indeed, our Talent Trends report showed that salary ranks as the top reason to accept a new job. Why? Professionals are increasingly realizing their worth and monetizing their time more. In many cases, they will sacrifice work perks at their current employer for a bigger salary elsewhere.

Our Recommendation: Keep Pace with Rising Technology Salaries

Technology functions typically have a wide range of pay bands, but it is more important than ever that employers ensure their salaries are competitive.

Getting pay right starts with a benchmarking exercise. What are competitors in your location and your industry paying tech talent in different roles? Michael Page’s 2023 Technology Salary Guide shares this information, as well as what constitutes a low, medium, and high level of pay for each position.

Next, review current employees’ salaries as soon as possible. When hiring, ensure job ads clearly display salary information.

Charlie Ginzburg, Managing Director at Michael Page, says:

Having said that, according to our research, additional benefits are not a substitute for salary. Employers should recognize that people are driven most by competitive pay, so, it may be useful to consider whether that budget can be used to boost salaries instead.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility was a top priority for workers across all age groups, across all markets, and among those with and without children.

Work-life balance was found overall to be the most significant influencer of job satisfaction, being selected by 57%, ranking higher than pay (50%). Moreover, nearly half of respondents said they would be willing to reject a promotion if they believed it would have a negative effect on their wellbeing and 7 in 10 would choose work-life balance over career success.

Looking at technology respondents specifically, 75% said they value flexible hours over all other aspects of hybrid working.

Our Recommendation: Give Tech Teams Some Level of Flexibility

Once a stand-out benefit on any job ad, flexible working of some kind is now simply an expectation.

We know it’s not realistic or even appropriate for every employer to enable 100% remote working for all employees, and most tech professionals, in particular new joiners to a firm should expect to be in an office at least a few times a week. Even so, it’s incumbent on employers to take the next step and meet top talent halfway: individualized flexible working options that put trust at the heart of employer-employee relationships are very beneficial. This could take the form of a hybrid working agreement, or even flexibility in working hours. Focus on what work is done versus when exactly it is done. Consult workers to find out what type of flexibility they most desire and make a decision that works for your business from there, when possible, a custom conversation with each employee around their goals/needs is best.

3. Career Growth

The practice of “job hopping” – rapidly moving from one position to the next in a bid to gain seniority and higher salaries faster – is on the rise. In a constantly evolving sector like technology, offering quality upskilling and training on the job can be hugely attractive to talent, as can opportunities for promotion.

Technology professionals tend to be especially ambitious, so ensuring that paths to promotion are clear from the outset will help you to both attract the best talent out there and keep your star performers.

Our Recommendation: Use Career Progression to Engage Tech Stars

To keep your top tech players engaged in their roles and attract high-caliber newcomers, be sure to lay out clear progression pathways from the beginning of the recruitment process. As well as providing opportunities for promotion, ensure any training, qualifications, or courses you offer are clearly highlighted. Managers must also be equipped to focus on personal development and steer each employee’s growth in a direction that interests and benefits both them and the organization.

Get the Insights You Need to Thrive During the Invisible Revolution

Our 2023 Talent Trends report, The Invisible Revolution, provides a deep dive into the most profound shift in workplace culture since the arrival of the internet.

Surveying almost 70,000 people globally, this is the world’s most robust and comprehensive study of its kind. It investigates the impact of The Invisible Revolution on different sectors, on different generations, and at different levels of seniority.

Find out how workers’ priorities have shifted, why, and how businesses can build talented teams in this challenging recruitment landscape. Get the data and inside information you need to not only survive this monumental cultural shift, but also to thrive in it.

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