2 Percent Raises Not Making Tech Workers Happy

Dice IT survey pay graphicParalleling the national average wage growth, tech workers saw their pay rise 1.9 percent last year to an average of $89,450 annually, more than twice what the average U.S. worker earns.

But with 2014’s increase the lowest since 2010, there’s growing discontent in the ranks.

The annual Dice Tech Salary Survey says satisfaction with pay declined 2 percent in 2014 to 52 percent of the surveyed workers. That may not seem like much of a change, but it’s a big drop from 2012 when 57 percent expressed satisfaction with their pay.

“Tech pros are less happy with their earnings,” observed Dice President Shravan Goli, “Signaling to companies that in order to recruit and retain the best candidates, offering more will be necessary.”

With the demand for tech professionals outstripping the available talent, sourcing and hiring workers has become one of recruiting’s biggest challenge. A Randstad report says that for every one of the 400,000 IT jobs it counted as open, there were only eight candidates, which helps explain why the average time to fill an IT job is 44 days.

Wanted hard to fill IT  jobsThose are averages. Jobs requiring the most in-demand skills have far fewer available candidates and take longer — months in many cases, according to Wanted Technologies — to fill. Wanted says for every job demanding Python, Linux, and other skills there may be as few as 3 or 4 potential candidates.

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No wonder then that the Dice survey found two-thirds of the 23,470 respondents said they were confident they could find another job if they wanted. And, 37 percent told Dice that’s what they were going to do this year.

Why would they look? Money, reported 70 percent of the survey respondents. Smaller, but still significant, percentages said they’d change job for better working conditions (44 percent), and said they’d leave their current employer for more responsibilities (33 percent).

Companies have taken notice, with 66 percent of employers offering some type of motivator to retain their tech workers. Most popular, of course, was to pay more, a motivator offered by 17 percent of companies. Also popular were more challenging assignments, flexible work hours, or telecommuting. and promotions.

In its report, Dice offered this advice to companies seeking hard to find talent: “If your team absolutely has to have the skill set, you better be prepared to challenge the salary limits for that ideal candidate in your area.”

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.