The Australian IT job market is so good at the moment that many don't stay in a role very long

Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images
  • 71% of Australian CIOs say employee turnover among permanent IT professionals has increased over the last three years and is highest in large companies (83%).
  • Of the CIOs who say voluntary employee turnover has increased, 46% say it’s because of more IT jobs in the market.
  • The average tenure of permanent IT employees is now 4.6 years.

Demand is so high for IT professionals in Australia that many don’t stay long in a role before moving to a better opportunity.

The development and implementation of new technologies is creating both opportunities and challenges in the IT job market, according to research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half.

More than seven in 10 (71%) Australian CIOs say employee turnover among permanent IT professionals within has increased over the last three years, with one in five (20%) saying the increase has been “significant”.

Some reports suggest the number of IT workers in Australia will increase to 722,000 in 2020 from 600,000 in 2014 but there is currently a skills shortage.

Almost a third (31%) IT employees leave in two years or less, according to Australian CIOs.

The research, which surveyed 160 Australian CIOs, reveals voluntary IT employee turnover is highest in large organisations (83%), followed by medium (77%) and small-sized organisations (52%).

The top five reasons for leave: more IT job opportunities in the market (46%), poor career progression prospects within the company (41%), concern over company performance and fear of redundancies (36%), poor work-life balance (34%), and a desire for more diverse career experiences (32%).

“The technology market is booming, creating an abundance of opportunities for talented IT professionals as companies increasingly adopt new technologies that require specialised skillsets to manage them,” says Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia.

“In this market, in-demand IT professionals who are ambitious to explore new career opportunities will seek to move elsewhere — simply because they can,” he says.

“Losing top performers can negatively affect a company’s bottom line in many ways, from reduced productivity and staff morale to increased recruitment and training costs, as well as the loss of company knowledge and experience, highlighting the need for companies to have a proactive and well-developed staff retention strategy.

“Whilst exploring new career opportunities is the prerogative of the individual employee, IT employers can take certain steps to reduce staff turnover by listening and addressing their employees’ concerns before they escalate.

“Regular salary benchmarking, providing challenging projects and career progression opportunities as well as employee recognition are all effective retention measures.”

The annual study was developed by Robert Half Australia and was conducted by an independent research company. The study is based on 160 interviews with CIOs/CTOs from companies across Australia, with the results segmented by company size, sector and geographic location.

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