How to Make Job Hopping IT Pros Settle Down

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How to Make Job Hopping IT Pros Settle Down

More than half of U.S. employees are watching the job market or actively looking for a job, according to a recent survey conducted by Gallup. In IT, the job hopping trend is even more prevalent. A survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals conducted by CareerBuilder in May 2014, found that IT employers were the most likely to expect professionals to job-hop.

With the wide variety of IT jobs available, it’s no surprise professionals are always on the lookout for new opportunities. But the job hopping epidemic in tech can be cured. Here are a few things you can do to keep job hopping tech talent around long-term:

Focus on strengths

Job hoppers are in search for IT jobs that allow them to do what they love every day, the Gallup survey found. Among employees employed for less than three months, 58 percent strongly agreed that the ability to do what they do best was important to their decision to take their current job, and 60 percent said it was important to their decision to leave their new job for another.

Allowing tech pros to do what they excel in can also boost performance and engagement. A 2015 survey from Michelle McQuaid and the Via Institute on Character found that employees perform better and are more engaged in their work when they — and their managers — focus on building their strengths.

In the talent search, be clear on what the job role and responsibilities are and what strengths are needed for the position, and then find the professional with those strengths. When tech pros are happy and engaged with their work, job hopping is less likely.

Discuss salary

Moving from one job to the next bumps salaries, and job hoppers are looking for the IT jobs that pay the most. In the Gallup survey, 49 percent of those who had been employed for less than three months said that a significant income increase was an important factor in their decision to take their current job.

In tech, salary is especially important. In the 2015 Healthcare Information Technology Salary Report, conducted by my company, HealthITJobs.com, health IT professionals surveyed felt they deserved to be earning more money — $18,000 more, on average.

Talking openly about salaries early on can keep talented tech professionals from job hopping. A 2015 survey of 71,000 employees by PayScale found that one of the top predictors of employee satisfaction and their intent to leave was a company’s ability to communicate clearly about compensation.

When employers paid less than the industry standard, but communicated about the reasons for the lower salary, 82 percent of employees were satisfied with their work. However, employees who were overpaid and didn’t have a conversation about their pay with their employers were less likely to be satisfied.

When offering a position to job hoppers, and other IT professionals, have an open conversation about salary. Let them know how the salary is determined, how raises and bonuses are earned, and the growth potential for their salary.

Offer stability

Although job hoppers appear to love change, they may actually be looking for stability in IT jobs. In a survey of tech professionals published by CareerBuilder in January 2014, 69 percent of respondents said job stability was more important than salary.

Offer IT professionals a stable working environment and career path, to bring them onboard for the long-term. Explain possible career paths to the candidate to show how they can grow with the company and advance their career. With continued growth and advancement, tech professionals will stay engaged and won’t feel the need to look for more opportunities.

A job that is both stable and promises growth development may make job hoppers feel comfortable enough to stick around.

Keep development going

When job hoppers start working for a new employer, they’re initially engaged. The employer is focused on development and tech employees are happy. But after the honeymoon period, development efforts fade and job hoppers get bored, the Gallup results indicated. In the survey, employees who had worked for a company for less than three years were more likely to have opportunities to learn and grow, speak with someone about their progress, and have someone at work who encourages their development, than employees who had been with a company for 10 years or more.

Development and continuing education are especially important in IT jobs, as technology constantly changes. Keep growth and development as a priority — even after an employee has been with the company for 10 years. Build a culture of development in which managers encourage employees to attend conferences and events, complete courses and certifications, and pursue other growth opportunities.

Job hopping in tech is a popular trend, but you can take steps to make talented professionals want to stay put. Give job hoppers what they’re looking for and watch them put down roots.

Have you hired job hopping tech pros? How did you keep them around? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

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Tim Cannon

Tim Cannon

Tim Cannon is the vice president of product management and marketing at HealthITJobs.com, a free job search resource that provides health IT professionals access to nearly 2,000 industry health IT jobs at home or on the go. Connect with Tim and HealthITJobs.com on LinkedIn.