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5 signs that your techies are being poached

Carolyn Duffy Marsan | March 14, 2011
With IT hiring on the rise, CIOs need to worry about an issue that hasn't cropped up in years: how to prevent their most talented employees from being poached by rivals.

BY THE NUMBERS: Want a new IT job? Now's your chance

CIOs need to be especially on the alert for tech poaching if they've already started to lose key employees to rivals.

"When your people start to leave, it's a slippery slope," Harris says. "Really good people are looking to work with high-quality colleagues. They want to work with the best people. So if the boss that they thought highly of has moved on, they'll be worrying about the opportunity to learn and grow and be mentored by something that is just as great."

Hill says that to retain key employees, CIOs don't necessarily have to raise salaries. Techies are more interested in perks such as flexible schedules, regular telecommuting and training in an emerging technology such as mobile application development than they are in money.

"For employees, it is a good time to go to your boss and ask for some of those perks so you don't have to jump ship," Hill says, adding that salaries will remain relatively flat even for those who change employers. "You're not going to see big jumps in pay even if you leave."

For CIOs, the best strategy is to have a retention plan for star employees and to promote from within.

"Employee engagement, talent retention, needs to be a priority. You need to have a plan that involves technology training and development," Harris says. "I'm a huge advocate of tech training for folks. If a new technology is brought in, and the organization goes out and hires a new person instead of training somebody internally, that says to the others: You are in a dead-end job. ... Look first to your own people to fill internal jobs."


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