Survey: Money Isn't Everything to IT Pros

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When it comes to IT employment, money isn't everything. That is, if you believea recent survey by staffing company Computer People.


According to an IT Pro item about the survey, nine out of 10 IT professionals said they wanted a job that was interesting and challenged them. Three-quarters of respondents also said they liked being friendly with their co-workers.


Hmmm, forgive me if I find these results less than surprising. Wouldn't workers in just about any profession offer similar responses? "No, I'd rather be bored, thanks." Also, how many folks that in truth would prefer an easy but dull job would be inclined to actually respond that way on a survey?


While the article implies that compensation isn't as important as soft benefits like camaraderie to tech pros, it doesn't mention whether respondents were asked about salary, so it's impossible to get a take on how workers rank salary in comparison with these other benefits.


The item offers a canned-sounding quote from Nick Dettmar, Computer People's managing director:

The research underlines the need for businesses of all sizes to understand the importance that workers place in the culture of the company. Though salary still remains important -- especially in today's economy - other factors also come into play, from a company's green credentials through to the resources it provides its staff.

Maybe so, but tech pros responding to earlier surveys, like this one from last year, sounded pretty interested in financial compensation. Still, experts are advising cash-strapped companies that can't afford raises to offer their employees perks such as flexible work schedules or extra vacation days.


And last November, when I interviewed Magda Marquet, the co-CEO of a company named one of 35 finalists for the Top Small Workplaces Award sponsored by The Wall Street Journal and Winning Work Places, she emphasized the importance of a positive company culture in retaining employees -- especially younger workers. She said:

You have to be competitive in terms of salary, but it's not the most important thing. My experience with retention has been that employees are looking for a sense of purpose, they are looking for companies where they are heard and where they make a difference. They want to feel that they are having fun. For this generation, I think quality of life is very important -- more important than it was for baby boomers. Young people are looking for a meaningful job. If you give them the possibility to express themselves, to be creative, to make a difference, this is more important to them (than salary).