In September the Number of IT jobs grew 0.3 percent, making the overall number of IT jobs 4,991,690. As the impressive 5 million job mark is reached, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that more IT professionals are voluntarily quitting their jobs.
Voluntary quitting is a sign of a strong economy. These IT professionals have the confidence to either jump to a new position or strike out on their own as an independent contractor or a small business. And this confidence is spreading. In August of 2015, around 507,000 people in technical and STEM positions quit their jobs, which is up from 493,000 in July. Interestingly, it’s a significant increase from August 2014, when 456,000 technical professionals quit.
Because the national unemployment rate for tech pros has hovered at under 3 percent for the past year, technical professionals are taking their confidence and seeking opportunities with better benefits, more flexibility, and higher salaries. However, many employers have yet to catch up with the times. Because the IT sector is growing so much more rapidly than the rest of the economy, many employers who only have a small team of technical professionals aren’t aware of the rapid growth and are treating these empty positions the same way they would treat any other. Unfortunately, that strategy has resulted in a lot of long-term vacancies and expensive, lengthy hiring processes.
IT professionals are aware that, if their skill sets are cutting-edge, they have the pick of the litter when it comes to job opportunities at the moment. That means opportunities with higher salaries, incentivized training, unique perks, and better work/life balance are drawing the eyes of many who, in a normal economy, might have stayed longer at their current job. The increase in IT professionals quitting their jobs has left employers scrambling for a solution that may be right in front of their noses. In order to retain employees while the quitting rate continues to increase, employers need to reassess the benefits they offer and look at major salary increases if they want to avoid a costly hiring process.
The best strategy in this economic climate is to focus on employee retention. However, if one of your IT professionals joins the over 500,000 quitting their jobs each month, reassessing the benefits and salary you offer is essential. Additionally, if you want to avoid a lengthy hiring process, you may want to seek outside help from a recruiting firm who knows the IT industry like the back of their hand. Anyone who approaches this unique IT hiring climate the same way they’re approaching other industries will surely fail as IT employment continues to outperform the rest and carve out a unique path in the overall economy.