Bob Miano's Blog

An Executive journal

Top IT Job Attributes for 2015

Each New Year seems to bring more articles about the "top IT jobs" in the year ahead. Most of these "top job" lists are focused on what job titles will generate the most money for a candidate or which role will enable them to innovate with the newest technology.

While these are important to IT professionals, increasingly IT specialists are looking for a wider range of job attributes that will enhance their career over the long term. Knowing what attributes are most valued can help IT hiring managers ensure their roles compete for the best IT talent in a crowded marketplace.

Harvey Nash has recently published two thought leadership reports (the Harvey Nash Technology Survey and the Harvey Nash HR Survey) that provide valuable insight for IT hiring managers to help attract top IT talent for their 2015 job roles. And what's most important to IT professionals might surprise you!

The top job attribute for IT professionals in 2015 according to the Harvey Nash Technology Survey is a clear and positive work-life balance (prioritized by almost eight out of 10 (78 percent) IT professionals).

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This research is confirmed by Harvey Nash recruiters all across the country. In Chicago for example, Harvey Nash Vice President of Business Development and Market Director Jane Gilligan Hamner, confirms: "Work-life balance is a very hot negotiation tool for both candidates and companies--we increasingly find that candidates are asking for it to be included, and more companies are adopting work-life balance policies to attract the best talent."

Deborah Rawlinson, Harvey Nash Vice President and Market Director in San Francisco sees mid-range companies struggling to adapt to the growing demand for work-life balance, while "smaller companies are able to offer more flexibility, which becomes an attractive part of the offer to candidates."

Many IT professionals still value working on innovative projects (72 percent) or with exciting technologies (68 percent), and being a member of a valued team is important for 67 percent. However, being "well paid" only ranks midway in the top 10 job attributes (at 66 percent).

Almost two-thirds of IT professionals (63 percent) want their IT job role in 2015 to help them advance in their career. This places greater importance on job roles that can articulate the ongoing training and career development opportunities open to top candidates.

To achieve well rounded job roles, it is important for IT hiring managers to work with their HR colleagues to articulate the wider opportunities for development that a role can bring. HR professionals recognize their programs can make IT jobs more attractive. From what we are seeing as far as competition for top talent, it will be important for HR professionals to do more to make talent acquisition and retention a strategic imperative in 2015.

In the 2015 Harvey Nash HR Survey, only one in 10 HR professionals (12 percent) rank talent acquisition and recruitment as the most important HR priority they will face in the year ahead. Twenty four percent of HR professionals will make employee engagement their top HR priority in 2015, and 18 percent will focus on promoting the positive values and cultures of their employer brand. This suggests that the majority of HR professionals should consider stepping up their efforts to robustly fulfil their mission to recruit and develop the best talent for their organization.

Training, Development and Certification Hold Great Value
Harvey Nash has recognized the growing importance of ongoing training, career development and industry certification to attract and retain the best talent. It is my intent to certify all my recruiters with continued professional development, and in 2014 I was proud to demonstrate that commitment to continuing education. Two of our valued employees completed the qualifications to become a Certified Professional Services Account Executive and a Certified Professional Services Recruiter through TechServe Alliance. As I continue to roll out the development program, it is one example of an opportunity to train, test and recognize exemplary professionals and prepare them for future career progression.

Similar certifications exist in the technology field--are you investing in your employees by giving them the opportunity to receive them?

For IT hiring decision makers, there is no doubt that 2015 is likely to be a year of greater competition for the best IT talent. Having the "top" IT job titles or throwing money at the recruitment problem is unlikely to be enough to help you secure and retain elite candidates.

Taking a long-term and more balanced approach to your staffing solution, and working with HR colleagues to build a range of positive attributes into your offer, will do more to attract the best and the brightest talent in the year ahead.