CIOs fear mass IT exodus following economic recovery

By Denise Dubie, Network World |  Business

IT professionals asked to do more work for less pay and fewer benefits might be able to forgive their employers' financial choices, but industry watchers say high-tech workers won't soon forget being treated poorly during the most recent economic recession and will look to find other employment opportunities as soon as the recovery gets under way.

Where the IT jobs are: 10 American cities

Robert Half Technology this week released findings of a survey of 1,400 CIOs that showed 43% said retaining existing workers will be their top staffing priority in 2010. The IT staffing and consultancy firm also reported that 21% of CIOs polled said they would offer more training and professional development opportunities to employers in 2010.

"Employers need to focus on preventing burnout and keeping their best people engaged at work. This may be a challenge, given that staffing cuts and the reduction or elimination of benefits have left many employees feeling overworked and undervalued," said Dave Willmer, executive director at Robert Half Technology, in a statement.

Robert Half Technology suggested a few retention efforts IT employers must begin now, including training and career development programs and career advancement opportunities. CIOs should re-recruit their best employees, which essentially means they must start working to convince them to stay on board.

Other suggestions include recognizing excellence and providing project support. Robert Half Technology also suggests managers communicate regularly with staff, encourage team-building activities and promote work/life balance. Lastly, the firm says CIOs need to consider the compensation packages they offer as well as re-evaluate the workloads employees are carrying. Effort such as these will be important in reducing turnover, according to the firm.

"Companies may have to work at 're-selling' themselves to existing employees in much the same way they would when promoting themselves to prospective hires," Willmer added.

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