4 Ways to Retain Your Best IT Talent Credit: IT workers via Shutterstock

While finding quality employees can be a tough task on its own, holding on to them once they're in the fold can be even tougher.

A new study by staffing firm Robert Half Technology revealed a disconnect between how happy company leaders think their IT employees are and those workers' actual satisfaction levels. Specifically, despite nearly three-quarters of chief information officers rating their workers' satisfaction levels fairly high, more than one-third of the IT employees polled plan to look for another job in the next year. Another 35 percent said they were unsure if they would stay with their current employers.

The leading factors making IT workers consider new employment options are the need for new challenges and a lack of career advancement opportunities, the research showed.

"Skilled IT professionals in hot areas, such as mobile app development and IT networking, have many job opportunities in the current market," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "CIOs will be more likely to keep their top performers if they make retention a priority and recognize that technology workers value opportunities to build their skills and move up in an organization."

Robert Half Technology offers all employers a handful of tips on how to retain their best and brightest employees, including:

  • Pay competitively: Salary isn't the only key to job satisfaction, but underpaying technology professionals will prompt them to seek other career opportunities.
  • Offer new responsibilities: Top performers want to advance. Even when a promotion isn't possible, employers should offer new areas of responsibility. The best professionals want to continually build their skill sets.
  • Create a learning culture: Reimburse staff for relevant online classes, educational conferences and courses offered by professional associations or local colleges. If employees seek certifications, consider reimbursing them for the costs to obtain and maintain their credentials. Employers that don't have the budget to pay for classes should consider starting a mentoring program.
  • Provide attractive benefits: Ask employees what perks they want — from health plans to flexible work hours to paid time off — and try hard to deliver them.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,300 chief information officers and more than 7,500 IT workers.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.