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IT pros lament: Low pay, no perks

Carolyn Duffy Marsan | Jan. 5, 2012
Non-competitive pay is the main reason for high turnover rates among IT pros in their 20s and early 30s.

Non-competitive pay is the main reason for high turnover rates among IT pros in their 20s and early 30s.

That's the consensus from dozens of comments posted on Network World's Web site in response to an article published over the holidays entitled, "The CIO's Lament: 20-something techies who quit after one year."

In this article, Harry Fox Agency (HFA) CIO and Vice President Louis Trebino said that one of his biggest challenges is dealing with high turnover rates on his Web development team, particularly among Java developers in their 20s. He said all six members of his Java development team have less than one year's worth of experience with HFA, which is the nation's leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry.

Trebino said that critical IT knowledge "keeps walking out the door. We invest in training people and bringing them up to speed to where they need to be, and boom they're gone. That has been my biggest struggle and concern."

Network World readers who commented on the article had little sympathy for Trebino.

"It seems fairly clear that the VP has the answers he needs, he just doesn't want to act on them," one reader said. "The obvious ones are the pay, the workload and the ability to work from home. Those should all be easy to fix."

Proclaimed another reader: "This guy's employees are leaving because they're not paid competitively [and] their boss doesn't listen to them when they say that crappy code should be rewritten...They have no opportunity for advancement, no flexibility with their jobs, they have no incentives to stay like pension plans or stocks, and he thinks they should be grateful for not having to work around the clock."

Another reader said bluntly: "If you are losing your people to other employers that pay more and offer better benefits, you either have to match market or settle for staff that are either not good enough to get a better job or too unmotivated to find a better job."

RELATED: Can you keep your IT staff in 2012?

Overwhelmingly, readers said that CIOs should pay market rates to their IT staff to avoid turnover.

"I manage an IT team. There are plenty of developers everywhere if you pay them in line with local wages [and] if you treat them reasonably," claimed an IT executive.

"I never set out to switch jobs after a year, but in each situation where this took place, it just seemed like the right move," wrote one 20-something IT professional. "A 30 percent increase in salary is tough to resist, as well as the ability to learn more."


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