Sheesh, is anyone happy with their current IT employment? A couple pieces of recent research suggest that droves of discontented workers may see the improving economy as the impetus they've wanted to seek a new job.
In a Computerworld interview published on Network World, Tom Silver, Dice's SVP for North America, says disenchantment is rising among tech professionals. Flying in the face of HR professionals, who advised companies to work at keeping employees motivated and engaged while times were tough, Silver said 47 percent of IT pros told Dice their employers had done nothing to keep them motivated during the downturn.
That statistic, coupled with the relatively low unemployment rate in the technology sector, leads Silver to believe we may be headed toward what he calls a "retentionless recovery." He said:
Today, the unemployment rate for technology is 4.5 percent -- substantially better than the national average, and improved from its cycle high of 6.2 percent. To us, it's simple: Technology professionals are very active about managing their careers. If they are unmotivated at work, they'll remedy that situation by finding a new job.
He encourages companies not to treat their "stars" differently from other employees, as that will cause further discontent. He said:
When there are different sets of expectations for different employees, it's like a bad disease. If you hold everyone to the same standard and treat them fairly, we find that technology professionals, and really all employees, rise to the occasion.
On the face of it, CIOs seem more satisfied with their current positions. According to a Harvey Nash/PA Consulting Group survey, 71 percent of CIOs think their roles are becoming more strategic and more than half sit on operational boards for their companies. Yet increasing influence hasn't necessarily led to increased satisfaction. Globally, the survey found 43 percent of CIOs expect to be in a new job within 24 months. For U.S.-based CIOs, the number is 38 percent. Said Robert J. Miano, president and CEO of Harvey Nash USA:
Mounting evidence suggests that the recession has had a disproportionate impact on salary and job satisfaction for some CIOs. The gap between the "haves" and "have-nots" appears to be widening and could point to a significant migration of CIO talent in the coming years.
Many CIOs seem worried they don't have the right stuff. According to a ComputerWeekly.com story about the survey, only 28 percent say they have the necessary expertise in business skills needed to do their jobs. Among the skills rated highly by CIOs: communication and influencing ability, mentioned by to 81 percent of respondents; leadership skill (76 percent); and strategy and planning skills (57 percent). Fifty-nine percent believe getting an MBA would improve their strategy and planning ability.
Shameless plug alert: See my post from last month on lessons for CIOs on how to be a great communicator.